Who will be in Boston's starting lineup on opening night?
David Butler II/David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics started Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, David Lee and Tyler Zeller in both their overseas exhibition games last week. The unit played great, but head coach Brad Stevens isn't sold on its success translating against NBA-caliber competition.
The starting backcourt appears set in stone (though who knows with a talent like Isaiah Thomas), but Boston may be better off with Tyler Zeller off the bench and Amir Johnson in the starting lineup. That defensive presence could prove invaluable if Lee stays on as the starting small forward.
Elsewhere, Crowder can play with anyone, but Evan Turner needs to fit in somewhere. Will it be with the starters?
“I think those three guys on the perimeter are all really good defenders and can get into the ball, and David can kind of act as the point forward that we've talked about with that group,” he said. “So at the end of the day we'll see if that stays or we'll see if that changes. I'm not dead set on it by any means.” Despite leaving the door open to changes, Stevens said he's starting to figure out the lineup combinations he wants to use. “I've got a pretty good feel now for who I want to play with whom,” the coach said. “There might be two options at one spot that we'll have to figure out as they compete against each other in practice. But as far as who I want to play with what group and what their skill sets that complement each other are, I've got a pretty good feel for it.”