Four of the five starters in tonight’s preseason open are the usual suspects: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Robert Williams. Based on their age and contract, that looks to be the Fab Four of the franchise for the coming years.
The fifth Beatle was a surprise.
According to head coach Ime Udoka, Juancho Hernangomez will start at power forward against the Magic. Over the weekend, Udoka cautioned the media not to read too much into the lineups. All week, he had been talking up Al Horford and his rejuvenated play. The Celtics “know what they have in Horford,” Udoka said. “So we want to see some different looks.”
Hernangomez was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies less than a month ago for Kris Dunn and Carsen Edwards. Last season, he played in Minneapolis and averaged 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in seventeen minutes a night for the Timberwolves.
Udoka says that the veterans will be limited to 24 minutes each in their first action of 2021-2022 and after catching last night’s return of Tom Brady to Foxboro, Udoka said of tonight’s tip-off, “it’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been for a preseason game.” We agree, Coach. We agree.