Marcus Good, Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schroder, and Josh Richardson will miss Boston’s third preseason game in Orlando for relaxation. Jaylen Brown and Al Horford are out too and within the league’s well being and security protocols after testing optimistic for COVID.
On the floor, this will likely appear to be a extra legit check for the Summer season Celtics in Vegas or a Maine Pink Claws alumni recreation, however with solely two preseason video games and precisely per week earlier than the beginning of the common season in Madison Sq. Backyard, there are nonetheless roles and taking part in time nonetheless up within the air.
With six rotation gamers out of the combination, right here’s a potential beginning lineup and depth chart for tonight:
Celtics @ Magic
|Payton Pritchard||Ryan Arcidiacono|
|Aaron Nesmith||Sam Hauser|
|Romeo Langford||Juancho Hernangomez|
|Grant Williams||Jabari Parker|
|Robert Williams||Enes Kanter|
Nothing loopy. It’s principally the 5 gamers from the final three draft courses with three veterans backing up the entrance court docket. However once more, this shouldn’t be thought-about some glorified Summer season League recreation for the gamers and coaches. There’s weight right here.
For Payton Pritchard, he’ll have an opportunity to check his chops once more as place to begin guard. In opposition to the Magic ten days in the past, Pritchard performed principally subsequent to Schroder as an off guard. “One other factor we’ve talked about that’s labored properly in apply, and we wish to see if it could possibly translate to the video games, can be Dennis and Payton taking part in collectively at instances,” Udoka mentioned after Monday’s apply. “Two playmakers and clearly Payton’s capturing skill. We wish to see at instances if we are able to get away with that smaller lineup, particularly on the guard spot. So we’re all these issues within the preseason and we’ll have a look at a few of these lineups in these final two video games.”
Udoka has careworn how efficient his capturing is at that “four-point” vary, however on Saturday night time with Schroder out with a knee contusion, Pritchard ran the purpose with the second unit and tallied 5 assists in seventeen minutes. He’ll get that probability once more tonight. If Good and Schroder are each wholesome, he’ll most definitely defer level guard duties to them, but when he can show efficient within the pick-and-roll in Orlando and get within the tooth of the protection, it’d warrant “playmaking” duties sooner or later.
For Grant Williams and Romeo Langford, it’s simply one other alternative to point out that their good play thus far hasn’t been a fluke. The pair have been lights out from behind the arc (Williams 3-for-5, Langford 5-for-6), an space that they have been each as soon as shaky earlier than. In a offense affected by playmakers, they gained’t be requested to do an excessive amount of with the ball of their arms.
Nonetheless, they’re nonetheless fringe rotation gamers. Schroder, Richardson, Pritchard, Nesmith, and even Enes Kanter appear to be locks to get minutes in October, November, and December. To make a good stronger case, Williams and Langford must show that there are a number of dimensions to their recreation. After slimming down within the offseason, Williams is faster on his ft and has frankly appeared extra like a small ahead than an influence ahead. That can come in useful in opposition to an Orlando workforce flush with wings and never numerous bruiser varieties. Langford’s job is likely to be even taller although. Pritchard is the one true ball handler of the bunch which signifies that Langford goes to must create a bunch off the dribble. Earlier than heading to the entrance workplace, Stevens projected Langford as an Evan Turner-type together with his dimension and deliberate model of play. Let’s see if he can play properly on the ball as he has off the ball thus far.
With Friday night time’s recreation in Miami as the ultimate testing floor earlier than wins and losses begin counting for actual, it’s clearly not perfect to lose beneficial recreation time for a workforce that also has many questions unanswered. What combos work? Who can present extra juice off the bench somewhat than as a starter? Will the Celtics drive their workforce model onto their opponents or will they be counterpunchers? For a handful of gamers, they’re nonetheless within the medical trial stage and Wednesday night time is one other probability to collect extra information factors.