So it looks like Evan Turner is your new Celtics starting point guard
Since the Rajon Rondo trade there's been a lingering question as to who should start at point guard--rookie Marcus Smart, or newly acquired veteran Jameer Nelson? As it turns out, a third option appears to be the winner (at least for now). Evan Turner.
In Wednesday's 106-84 drubbing of Sacramento, Turner got the starting nod and dished out a career-high 11 assists in just 23 minutes. During yesterday's practice Turner continued with the same role:
Evan Turner working with the first team again, as he earned, as practice opens to media. Nelson-Smart the second unit backcourt.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 1, 2015
...one of the more important discoveries over the last couple of days was how effective the pairing of Jameer Nelson and Marcus Smart would be off the Celtics bench.
Against the Kings, the Celtics were a plus-15 when the two were on the floor at the same time, the third-best plus/minus margin among two-man tandems for Boston.
Nelson played the role of facilitator, tallying eight assists with just two turnovers in 20 minutes. Smart, playing more off the ball, had 11 points, six rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes.
Prior to the win over the Kings, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens talked about how pleasantly surprised he was to see them mesh so seamlessly in Tuesday's practice, adding that playing them together was "something we really hadn't done."
This stat is interesting as well:
Celtics by starting PG...
Evan Turner 3-0 (108.3 ppg)
Rajon Rondo 8-14 (104.4 ppg)
Jameer Nelson 0-1 (95 ppg)
Marcus Smart 0-3 (93 ppg)
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 1, 2015
My thoughts on the matter? I'd be shocked if Boston has really discovered any major breakthroughs here. All of those numbers represent tiny sample sizes, and the success of Nelson and Smart together against the Kings probably has a lot to do with the fact that they were playing the Kings. Similarly, Turner's other recent start at point guard was at home vs. the lowly Timberwolves in the first game after Rondo's departure.