For Celtics, Moose and Yabu time? (Greg Monroe & Guerschon Yabusele)
Believe it or not, there is a very slight upside to all of the injuries the Celtics have endured lately, specifically that the young players and new guys can see more floor time. Daniel Theis is almost certainly lost for the season with a torn meniscus, and replacing his defense, rebounding, offense and inspired play will be difficult. Center Greg Monroe immediately comes to mind.
Greg Monroe has quietly found a rhythm on offense recently. Shooting 64.7 percent from the field over the last five games. Cs will need more of that now.
When faced with the question of a substitute taking on more minutes, I always go to the per-36-minute stats, and since Greg is fairly new to the team, I went with the past five games. What I got was 21.9 Points (64.7% from field), 11.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 blocks. We know that Moose is no Bill Russell on defense, but those numbers show promise. Greg needs more minutes, but he needs to be in there with someone who can get him the ball in advantageous situations.
Kyrie Irving will be sitting out some games because of knee issues, and we are getting a bit of mystery relative to Marcus Smart's hand injury. The drama may possibly be connected to whether or not that tendon in question was weakened, or otherwise compromised, in the picture frame punching. Al Horford is capable of feeding the Moose, but he is still out with an unidentified illness. That leaves Terry Rozier as the Moose-feeder, and my thinking is they should both start the game.
And here's how quickly things can change in 48 hours in #NBA ... Guerschon Yabusele is on a plane back from G-League to join #Celtics for Wednesday; Brad Stevens said Semi Ojeleye may see some time at center going forward "like we did in Summer League."
Now comes the question of Guerschon Yabusele. He has played a lot in the G-League and has done well there. He has had a bit of trouble bringing that game to the NBA level, but his per-36-minute stats show 12.8 PPG and 10.1 RPG. His shooting percentages are nothing to write home about, but with Boston having a decent hold on the number two spot in the East, it may be Yabu-Time. There would be minimal pressure on him to produce, and I feel several six-minute stints off the bench would be a good beginning for him.
Until Al returns, pairing Monroe and Aron Baynes in the frontcourt would be a worthwhile experiment, Aron for defense and Greg for offense. Why not? Jayson Tatum at the other starting forward spot, with Abdel Nader joining T-Ro in the backcourt is worth a shot. Nader's shooting percentages are honestly not impressive, but increased minutes may change that. That leaves Yabu, Kadeem Allen, Marcus Morris and Semi Ojeleye as substitutes. These nine guys would do well in G-League or Summer League, and we will see how they do in the Big League.