Shane Larkin knows only one speed - fast! With Marcus Smart out after thumb surgery and Kyrie Irving's status in limbo due to a knee issue, we will be seeing more of Shane's high-speed energy on display. In last night's win over the OKC Thunder, Larkin played 24 minutes, notching 13 points, four rebounds, one assist and a plus/minus of +16, second highest on the team after Jayson Tatum.
"Shane has been incredibly reliable in his spot opportunities, but they're no longer going to be spot opportunities." – Expectations are rising for Larkin, and he's living up to them: https://t.co/DAJxPUhfR5
Shane has been recognized as a spark plug off the bench during his sporadic forays onto the hardwood, but that will change. At times, he will need to be the motor that drives his team to wins over the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. Here is NBA's Taylor Snow on Larkin's all-around game followed by Terry Rozier's thoughts on sharing the back court with Shane:
Above all, Larkin's constantly-active style of play helped enhance Boston's pace, acting as a spark plug on both ends of the court. His lightning-quick moves and drives to the basket gave life to the Celtics' offense, while his fearless, defensive approach provided versatility on the other side of the ball.
Rozier loves the idea of sharing the backcourt load with Larkin, because he believes that playing alongside another high-energy, spunky guard like himself will help bring out the best in his game.
"Playing with a guy like Shane, he's going to make your job so easy because he's playing so fast and fearless," said Rozier. "You're either going to play just how he plays, or you can be lacking. But there's no way you want to be out there with a guy like Shane and be lacking."
Larkin sets the pace when he is on the floor, and that pace is fast. A 6'2"/5'11" back court is not Brad Stevens ideal one with regard to height, but the team did quite well with a 6'2"/5'7" duo (Avery Bradley/Isaiah Thomas) last year. Shane earns 1.5 million this season and is a UFA this summer. Whether he remains with the Celtics or goes elsewhere, the remaining games will be important for both Shane and his present team. No height. No wingspan. No problem. Just pure energy and desire. That defines him.