How Celtics Coach Brad Stevens allocates floor time with Greg Monroe
With the impending addition of Greg Monroe to the Celtics roster, one of the first questions is, where do his minutes come from? With Marcus Smart sidelined with an injury, and now possibly on the trading block, and with the trade deadline four days hence, the roster may not look exactly as presented below.
Boston currently has five players averaging more than 30 minutes per game, and that includes Smart's 30.3 minutes. For this exercise, I will not include Marcus, or obviously any projected additions, into the mix. The Spurs Greg Popovich is a master at minutes-allocation, and much to the dismay of fans, at resting his veterans for entire games. He has only one player, LeMarcus Aldrich, playing more than 30 MPG. He has nine players with minutes from the low-to-high twenties.
Al Horford is at 32.4 MPG and could use a slight reduction, as could Kyrie Irving at 33.0 MPG. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both around 31 MPG, and that should remain constant. They will keep improving. Marcus Morris logs 24 MPG, and could use a slight reduction to lower injury risk. Aron Baynes remains at roughly 18 MPG, and the team has a winning record with him starting at center. I would expect him to retain those minutes.
Daniel Theis is at 14 MPG and could use an increase. He is another player who will improve even more by playoff time. Terry Rozier needs a boost in minutes with his recent stellar play. Semi Ojeleye and Abdel Nader currently average 13.6 and 9.1 MPG, respectively, and adding a few minutes of floor time for each would be beneficial to their progress.
So I did the math, taking two minutes/game away from Kyrie, Al and Morris and eliminating Smart's minutes for now. Brown, Tatum and Baynes keep the same minutes, Rozier gets a six-minute boost while Theis and Ojeleye get an additional four minutes, and Nader gets two.
The end result sees newly-acquired Greg Monroe getting roughly 22 MPG once he gets acclimated. Most, or all, of those minutes should be at the center position, although with Brad Stevens, no one ever can be sure. I can't see it working, but a triple-tower frontcourt of Monroe, Horford and Baynes could be employed at some point.
What I have projected may be blown apart in the next several weeks. The Celtics are still looking seriously at either Tyreke Evans or Lou Williams as possible additions, and Marcus Smart's situation is up in the air. The DPE has been used on Greg, but the trade deadline looms. The Monroe addition was somewhat expected. The next move might be a surprise. With Danny Ainge, you just never know.