Once again, Brad Stevens sounds just as frustrated and bewildered by the Celtics struggles as the rest of us. Unlike us, he has the ability to make changes that may (or may not) influence positive change.
Asked directly about the Celtics’ usual starting lineup, Stevens admitted he thinks about whether to change it “every day.” Over 221 minutes since the start of February, that group (Kyrie Irving, Smart, Tatum, Morris and Horford) has an ugly minus-5.5 net rating. The same five helped reinvigorate Boston’s offense earlier in the season and, for a stretch, turn things in a positive direction. But recently the numbers have trended down a disturbing path.
It sounds like the plan he’s considering is going back to the original starting 5 from the beginning of the year (with Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown back in).
The question remains, is that the right move for this team?
As usual, Stevens emphasizes the “how you finish, not how you start” coach-speak mantra. He is also limited in his lineup experimentation by key players being injured or needing rest as we close out the season.
So we’re still left with the theoretical debate that has played in the background all season long. Should Stevens go back to the original starting lineup, stick with the one he has, or start some other mix of players?
Hayward and Brown have played much better as the season has progressed. Their talents, in theory, would make sense next to the other starters. Of course, little has gone according to theory or offseason expectations thus far.
So what do you think Stevens should do?
What starting lineup should Brad Stevens use?
This poll is closed
The current lineup
The lineup from the start of the season
Other (explain in comments)