Green and Wallace both prepared to make necessary changes for Celtics
The Boston Celtics 2014-15 campaign kicks off at the TD Garden this coming Wednesday October 29th against the Brooklyn Nets. Exactly what lineup Celtics fans can expect to see on the floor remains to be seen.
Depending on Rajon Rondo’s progress following his first full contact day of practice will determine who gets the start at the point guard position. Should Rondo not be ready, rookie Marcus Smart is ready to step in. This is a bit different than what we’ve seen over the last few preseason games which saw Evan Turner handle point duties.
Both Smart and Turner have impressed with their overall play over the last few weeks and if we’ve learned one thing from head coach Brad Stevens’s lineups, it’s that we’re going to see a lot of combinations before the season is out. More than likely before the end of the first month of play.
Along those lines, and amidst constant speculation as to if he’ll be part of a trade this season, is Jeff Green, who is poised to see a lot more time at power forward this season. Green, who played just 9 percent of his minutes at power forward last season, would add flexibility and cause mismatches at the four. Those different combinations, while causing ripples in the Celtics rotation, will hopefully translate into stat line filling opportunities for both Green and the team as a whole.
“We haven’t had a chance to do it much (during the preseason),” Stevens admitted. “And it does put a pretty deep position on our team pretty backed up. As a result, Tyler Zeller doesn’t get into the game until about six minutes left in the game. But I just thought (against the Nets), he could match up because (Mirza) Teletovic is a perimeter shooter and driver. Now, Teletovic will post you if you’re a guard, but Green has some flexibility to be able to guard a couple positions.”
Like the backcourt and frontcourt, the Celtics bench is also in a state of flux. Gerald Wallace - a key member of the Celtics bench mob last season - struggled with his place on the team. Never shy, and frequently vocal, Wallace was the first to both critique and applaud his team’s efforts as well as what value he thought he could provide.
Wallace, still willing to step in and do what is needed, is singing a slightly different tune this season as he takes a more team focused approach.
"Whatever the team needs me to do," Wallace said. "Whatever coach (Brad Stevens) needs me to do. We've already talked about it. I'm in a position where I'm comfortable with it."
"He's willing to do whatever to help this team," Stevens said prior to Boston's practice on Monday. "That's a great thing. He's been a great veteran. That's a real positive."
Wallace, who is still recovering from last year’s season ending knee surgery, is working his way back into shape so that he is ready when called upon by the Celtics.
"I don't feel myself at 100 percent," Wallace said. "My knee, I'm still battling, trying to get my knee back to where I want it to be. At this point, I don't feel like I can go out and play 30, 40 minutes the way my knee is. I'm still a work in progress of getting myself back to 100 percent."
"It's just the point of me mentally getting to the point where I can get past the issue of worrying and get my leg back to the strength it was before surgery," Wallace said.
"If they need me, they need me," Wallace said. "If they don't, they don't. I'm here. I'm always prepared, ready to go whenever he (Stevens) calls my name."