Taking a look at the Boston Celtics roster for the 2018-19 season makes you realize that Brad Stevens is going to earn his paycheck this season.
With Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving both returning from injuries, the Celtics have a lot of depth allowing Stevens to have mutliple effective lineups at his discretion. Balancing the talent on the roster is a good problem to have, but that does not make it any easier.
During the preseason, the Celtics starting lineup featured their top five players, and it is what we expect the Celtics to roll out against the Sixers on opening night.
Boston Celtics Projected Starting Lineup 2018-19
C- Al Horford
PF- Jayson Tatum
SF- Gordon Hayward
SG- Jaylen Brown
PG- Kyrie Irving
Stevens admitted the team is open to switching up their starting lineup. The Athletic’s Jay King detailed Stevens thought process on the starting lineup.
Asked if he could change the starting lineup this year depending on the game, Brad Stevens said he could change it night to night or even half to half. âCould do a lot of things,â he said.
According to NESN, Stevens plans to have Hayward on a 25-minutes-per-game restrition to start the season in an attempt to ease him back into action after a long layoff.
âI thought last week was his best week, as you would expect,â Stevens said per NESN. âObviously his back feels better and a little more comfortable as you move on, so heâll be a little bit restricted from a minutes standpoint as we progress through this early part of the season, but thatâs just to make sure we ramp it back up so that heâs feeling great toward the end of the year and the years beyond. Itâs hard to go from not playing (for 12 months) to playing the schedule that weâre playing.â
Here’s a look at the full Celtics roster to start the 2018-19 season.
Boston Celtics Roster 2018-19
C- Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis, Robert Williams
PF- Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Guerschon Yabusele
SF- Gordon Hayward, Semi Ojeleye, Jabari Bird
SG- Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Brad Wanamaker, P.J. Dozier
PG- Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Walt Lemon Jr.
With the return of Hayward and Irving, it means some of the players that played big roles on last year’s team are likely to see their minutes reduced. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier both played a lot of minutes last season, and it will be interesting to see how the Celtics use these two guards off the bench.
According to OddsShark, the Celtics win total is set at 58.5. Boston won 55 games last season, and should be in the running to win 60 games if they are able to stay healthy. Hayward has the potential to add even more offense to the Celtics lineup if the team can figure out how to utilize all their talent. This seems likely given how much Stevens has achieved with much less talent over the years.