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Most Boston Celtics fans may be scratching their heads as to why Danny Ainge keeps drafting forwards. Last night was the 2017 NBA Draft where most notably the Celtics selected Jayson Tatum a forward from Duke, and Semi Ojeleye a forward from SMU.

So why add more forwards to a roster that already has the likes of Jaylen Brown, and Jae Crowder? Why look to add names like Gordon Hayward, or Paul George? To put it simply, because Brad Stevens values versatility above everything else. Stevens ideally wants to run a team of forwards that can guard 1-4.


If you watch Celtics games often, you know that Brad is no stranger to odd lineups. What makes those lineups possible, are guys that can slide and cover multiple spot when a switch on defense occurs. Playing multiple guys who can guard multiple positions limits the ways other teams can attack your defense. Not only are you presented with a significant advantage on defense, so long as the wings can stretch the floor and be mobile you aren't sacrificing your offensive production.


Having guys like Brown who can play three different positions only increases the possibilities for this team. Tatum should only prove to compliment him in other situations as it creates a match up nightmare for other teams. In a league that is trending smaller, we're valuing versatility above everything else. A lineup of Brown, George, and Tatum would be able to switch onto just about any defender without skipping a beat. This is key to win in the playoffs as the crux of playoff basketball is purely taking advantage of match ups. This is a trend that the Golden State Warriors have bought into, with players like Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala. The success speaks for itself and Stevens' pace and space system is very similar to how the Warriors' system is run. This is the way the game is trending, and the Celtics are ahead of the curve. 



Photo per: The Boston Globe
Follow me on Twitter! @ConnorMurphy

Connor Murphy 6/23/2017 03:33:00 PM Edit
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