Brad Stevens on Zeller's first start: "I thought he was fine."
The Celtics were soundly defeated on their home court yesterday by the San Antonio Spurs, who moved to 12-4 on the season with the victory. Prior to the game, coach Brad Stevens explained his logic behind a line-up shuffle, as he gave the start to Tyler Zeller over Kelly Olynk.
Stevens attributed the switch to Tim Duncan, before explaining that the move was "very temporary" (Quotes from MassLive.com):
“Defending Tim Duncan,” Stevens said before the game. “(That) would be the obvious answer. Tim Duncan gave us fits here last year, and I just felt like we need more size on him.
“I look at this as a very temporary thing,” Stevens said. “I don’t look at this as a full-time thing, nor do I look at it as something our guys will overblow, or that we need to overblow. I just think it makes sense today, and then we’ll reevaluate things on Tuesday night when we play again.”
In a game where the Celtics were beaten in every aspect of the game by a much better team, Zeller was serviceable. Or as Brad Stevens put it, "fine":
“I thought he was fine. Obviously the layup that he got running the floor in transition was something we challenged him on because we watches (Spurs center Aron) Baynes do it in the first half a couple of times.
“I don’t think that it had any impact on the final score, how we started either half. So I don’t know that it was a resounding home run. But I wasn’t looking for it to be. Tyler played fine.”
Zeller's final stat line: 10 rebounds to lead the team on the day, along with 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting. Not exactly eye-popping, but decent in a spot start against a great team.
Olynyk, who actually ended up playing 2 more minutes than Zeller, did not have a good day at all, finishing with 3 rebounds and 3 points on 1 of 6 shooting. He also got viciously jammed on by Jeff Ayres. Yep, that clip sums up Kelly's day pretty, pretty well.
If Olynk's ineptitude continues, it will be interested if Zeller's temporary starts become more permanent.