Shane Larkin has real impact against Charlotte Hornets

Prior to the regular NBA season, Coach Brad Stevens said that he felt newly-signed guard, Shane Larkin, would be "really impactful" for the Celtics. Here are Brad's comments via MassLive's Jay King:

"First of all, I love the way he plays," Stevens said. "I think he's got a great pace to him. He can get into the paint on anybody. He's got a beautiful floater which every small guy needs to have. And he's just got a great way about him.

"I was talking to (one of the other coaches) today about, he really floats. Like, he is an athlete. When he's moving he can push tempo, but he can also change gears. He's got a pace to him that he understands the other four guys he's playing with. I'm a big fan of Shane Larkin. I think he'll be really impactful for us. And we'll play, you know, the league has not only gone smaller at the big spots, the league will go smaller at the guard spots. So I could see him playing minutes with Terry (Rozier) or playing minutes with Kyrie (Irving) even though that's a small 1-2."

Larkin's predicted impact became reality last night against the Charlotte Hornets after Kyrie Irving went down with an injury. Once again, MassLive's Jay King on what occurred:

The Celtics trailed by 12 points entering the fourth quarter. With a 10-game winning streak in jeopardy, Stevens called on a lineup that included Larkin, who played in Spain last season, Daniel Theis, who played in Germany, and Guerschon Yabusele, who played in China. Knowing the three players had never seen the TD Garden during a wild comeback, Stevens communicated to them how the arena would light up.

"We're going to win this game," Terry Rozier recalled Stevens saying. "And this place is going to go crazy."

And win they did. Larkin's contribution was critical. He scored 16 points on five-of-eight from the floor, two-of-three from the arc and four-of-four from the line. This guy has no height (5'11.5") and a much-less-than-average-NBA wingspan (5'10.75" - see above photo) but he is a true athlete who is very talented and competes. The excitement he generated fueled the fire that had already been ignited in the Boston crowd. You can see and hear it in the video below:

Shane Larkin may never be a star in this League, but he is a solid NBA player and one that could become another crowd favorite in Boston. He certainly was one last night.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Brian Fluharty/SNY
Video via DownToBuck