Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
A: ::shrugs shoulders:: If Rajon Rondo’s health wasn’t such a question mark, this one might not be so difficult. You can easily envision a starting lineup anchored by the Rondo-Avery Bradley backcourt (those two are the longest tenured players on the team now, after all). But recent chatter by Boston players (both current and past) has suggested that Rondo might not be ready for start of the new season and that throws everything off.
As September creeps along, one of the few questions left to be answered is who will be Boston’s starting five when they open the season on October 30th. Brad Stevens and his staff have roughly one month of training camp and eight preseason games to make their decision. The obvious choice at the point guard spot would be Rondo, but depending on who you ask, he may or may not be ready come Opening Night. That leaves Boston’s options at an untested and undrafted rookie or a decent ball-handler who is more suited at the two.
Bradley said recently that he’d be willing to help stomach those chores, but he’s clearly uncomfortable when opponents crank up the pressure and that might have contributed to his all-around struggles in the playoffs last season (though two surgically repaired shoulders conspired against him as well). The Celtics are clearly better served keeping him at the shooting guard spot. Alas, the only other pure ball-handler on the roster at the moment is undrafted rookie Phil Pressey.
If Bradley did fill-in for Rondo at the point for a bit, could we Stevens inject a guy like Marshon Brooks into the starting lineup? Brooks had a productive season scoring-wise for the Nets in 2011-12 when he averaged just under 13 PPG while averaging 29.4 minutes a contest. His minutes were cut drastically however last year. Or would the C’s turn Jordan Crawford loose and see if he could be a
consistent reliable valid scoring threat as a starter.
The forward/center situation is a bit easier to envision. Jeff Green should be the starting SF & Boston’s go to guy when it comes to getting buckets. Humph & Crash could get some burn at the four, if nothing else just to showcase them for a possible trade as Forsberg notes. I believe Stevens will use a mix & match of guys at the five spot, depending on the size & depth of the opponents’ frontcourt on any given night. Sully’s blue collar style and hustle on the boards was quickly earning him fan favorite status before his season-ending back surgery last winter.
The question up front is how quickly the likes of second-year Jared Sullinger and rookie Kelly Olynyk could possibly climb to expanded roles. Sullinger had ascended to a starter’s job last season before his back flared in early February, forcing him to undergo season-ending surgery. If healthy and given minutes, Sullinger could make the case for a bigger role quickly. Rookie Olynyk has an NBA-ready offensive game that could get him immediate minutes.
Brandon Bass is a guy that is kind of lost in the shuffle here. I like BB, and despite some of his struggles last season, he really turned it on over the final month. The Celtics have to decide just exactly where he falls into their future plans if they are to keep him for the entirety of the upcoming season. At 6’11″, Faverani is a guy that should see some minutes on nights when the C’s match-up with bigger, longer teams. How he will adjust and adapt to the NBA game is the real question.
The rest of the links: