Starting five for Celtics still a work in progress

Head coach Brad Stevens and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge spent the Celtics preseason tinkering with the lineup to see what combination would produce the best results for the new look Boston Celtics. As the regular season begins in less than 3 hours, the starting lineup will be... undecided.

"Until there's separation there can't be a set lineup," said Ainge, the Celtics' president of Basketball Operations. "So I think most likely that it won't happen on the first crack, but the second or third crack we'll figure it out."

In an ideal situation, Stevens would be playing with a nine-man rotation, which is doable with the C's current roster. However, deciding on those nine players and what the rotation should be is going to be a source of constant questioning, experimenting, and tinkering in the early part of the season as the Celtics management searches for the ever elusive Contra Code lineup.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with what the Contra Code is, allow me to explain. "CONTRA" was a video game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. "The Contra Code" was a legendary combination of buttons one would mash before beginning the game to unlock unlimited lives and weapons for one to use during play. Somehow in the age before the internet, everyone on earth seemed to know the infamous Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Start method of victory.

What does this mean for the Celtics? The only way to unlock the Contra Code in the pre-internet days was to try out different combinations and you found out what worked. Stevens & Ainge are on a similar mission. They are trying everything possible until the right combination presents itself.

"Everybody in the locker room is going to have an opportunity," Ainge said. "That's 14 players that are all going to get a chance. You know they're not going to get a chance on the same night."

"The biggest thing when you talk about depth, depth can be a really, really good thing and it can also be a clear indicator that there's not a lot of separation," Stevens said. "I think it's both in this circumstance."

The 2013-14 Boston Celtics season kicks off tonight in Toronto as the Raptors do battle with Brad Stevens' starting 14, five players at a time.

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Source: A. Sherrod Blakely;

Photo Source: Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images