During the pre-game press conference, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that he would be making some changes to the starting line-up tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.
While it was previously speculated that Marcus Smart would start in place of an injured Avery Bradley, Stevens has given Evan Turner the nod instead as he doesn't feel that Smart is ready to play extended minutes, and stated that Turner "certainly has earned the right" to start.
Evan Turner will start at shooting guard for the Celtics. Brad Stevens says Marcus Smart is not yet prepared for 30-35 mins of action.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 4, 2016
The changes to the starting line-up don't end there. Kelly Olynyk will replace Jared Sullinger as the first unit's center, and Sully will come off the bench.
Kelly Olynyk will start at center in place of Jared Sullinger, who will come off the bench tonight.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 4, 2016
This decision was made in light of Jared Sullinger's recent slump, as well as needing an additional shooter in Bradley's absence. From Celtics.com:
Olynyk will start in place of Jared Sullinger. Sullinger is in the midst of one of the worst stretches of his career, with an average of just 7.8 points per game on 36.0 percent shooting dating back to the start of December. Olynyk, meanwhile, has been red-hot during the same stretch. He heads into tonight’s game with an average of 12.2 points a night on 52.6 percent shooting from the field and 45.5 percent shooting from long range since Dec. 1.
These two players’ recent shooting trends were key reasons why Stevens opted to make the change at center.
“I’m going to start Kelly tonight to try to get into that kind of rhythm and space the floor,” Stevens told reporters, “and obviously with Avery out, being able to have another shooter on the court is a good thing.”
Hopefully shaking up the line-up will give the Celtics the boost they need to avoid a 3-game losing streak. Danielle Hobeika 1/04/2016 07:24:00 PM Tweet Edit