With Jae Crowder on the shelf for at least two weeks, Brad Stevens will have to find a replacement at stating small forward. Oddly enough, the C's don't even really have another SF on their roster (take a look at the position listings on ESPN.com).
Evan Turner is the closest fit, but he's also the backup point guard/primary ball handler when Isaiah Thomas is out of the game. Marcus Smart and Jonas Jerebko are two other possible options:
Both Marcus Smart + Jonas Jerebko had starter green on at end of practice. Stevens wouldn’t hint how he’ll replace Crowder at start of games— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) March 13, 2016
Despite running with the first unit at the conclusion of Sunday's practice, Jerebko is an unlikely choice to take Crowder's place:
One thing from Stevens' chat earlier: don't expect Jerebko to play 3 due to Crowder's injury. "He doesn't play hardly any 3 for us anymore."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 14, 2016
If Stevens wanted to think way outside the box he could give James Young a shot, which would allow the coach to keep his other rotations intact. The defensive drop-off from Crowder to Young is a scary thought though. Young might be worth a try when the Celtics visit the 76ers on Sunday, but Boston's next three contests are at Indiana, home vs. Oklahoma City and at Toronto:
Crowder out at bad time. Turner on matchups with Paul George, Kevin Durant coming up: "Oh, shit. I didn’t even think about that. Wow."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 13, 2016
So the question is, who do you want covering George and Durant? With Crowder out, there's no great option. My money is on a combination of Smart and Turner:
#Celtics Evan Turner first in line to replace Jae Crowder's minutes, but sense there will be a lot of Marcus Smart guarding 3s & 4s as well.— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) March 13, 2016
Regardless of whether it's Smart or Turner who's on the floor for opening tip (and don't be surprised if Stevens tries out a few different options), expect to see Smart, Turner, Avery Bradley, Jerebko, and Kelly Olynyk get plenty of court time together when Thomas goes to the bench:
Of all NBA 5-man lineups this season with > 100 minutes, Boston bench (w/Olynyk + AB) is No. 10 in net rating. pic.twitter.com/HBCRwccRrG— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) March 14, 2016
Olynyk is hoping to be back in action on Tuesday.
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Mark Van Deusen 3/14/2016 12:26:00 PM Tweet Edit