Brad Stevens has graciously not tweaked starting-5, Danny Ainge-as-coach would have
Brad Stevens and Jaylen Brown share more than one quality, but one of them is graciousness. Jaylen's struggles thus far have been at least in part due to his sensitivity to his teammates. He is currently the fourth or fifth option on offense and is careful not to invade the space of veterans Kyrie Irving, Al Horford or Gordon Hayward. And Stevens has been a bit too reticent about experimenting with other starting line-ups.
Early in the season is the right time to experiment with line-ups. That hasn't happened. There are two sides to Jaylen, and the fans are totally split on where Brad should go with this. Brown has struggled thus far, resulting in this fan reaction.
JAYLEN BROWN SHOULD NEVER TOUCH THE FLOOR FOR THE CELTICS AGAIN
The Celtics were down 20 points at the time, so Jaylen's stare-down was probably ill-timed. But his drive to the hoop and subsequent jam were not. So where does this leave us?
Brad Stevens non-committal about possible rotation changes after a 1-4 road trip. If there is one, Marcus Smart—who started the second half against Phoenix and was quickly off the bench in the third against PDX—a candidate to join the starters.
If Danny Ainge were the coach, I believe he would have tweaked the starting-five, possibly by inserting Marcus Smart and giving Brown more offensive leeway on the second unit. Smart gets to ignite his team right away and not allow them to get even close to stagnant. Jaylen could be more assertive on offense as a back-up and get his rhythm back.
It is all about balance. The current starting unit for Boston has five shooters that play solid defense - most of the time. Their shots haven't fallen, but they sometimes take plays off. Marcus does not. He has proven himself as a relentless defender and talented assist guy who does everything but score the ball. Put him with four scorers and get Jaylen more into the offense against opposing back-ups. Makes sense.