Brad Stevens' favorite new expression when describing this year's Celtics - "fly around"
Before the Celtics' first practice of the season, Brad Stevens asked his guys to go at roughly 30-percent capacity while executing a 5-on-5 demo. Via CSNNE's A. Sherrod Blakely, here's the coach's take on how that panned out:
If that was 30 percent, we’re going to be able to fly around. I think it was just a misjudging of what 30 percent is. They were flying early on in practice. We have to be able to fully rotate, we have to guard different positions, you gotta be able to read the game instinctively and obviously there’s an athletic component that allows you to do so effectively.
"Fly-around" lineups are essential with the new the direction the NBA is heading, as illustrated by this outstanding Ringer video on how to defend the Golden State Warriors (something Stevens has already proven to be quite good at):
While the Celtics starting five may not be able to do this particularly well (Isaiah Thomas and Amir Johnson are fairly one-dimensional defensively), there are some highly intriguing bench options available at Stevens' disposal, beginning with the versatility of rookie Jaylen Brown:
#Celtics Brad Stevens again said value of rookie Jaylen Brown is that he should be able to guard a number of different positions in #NBA.
Imagine the switching possibilties with Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Brown and Horford on the floor together? Or, if Stevens really wanted to get nuts, how about swapping Terry Rozier in for Horford? The "fly-around" capabilities of a Rozier-Bradley-Smart-Crowder-Brown lineup are tantalizing.