This postseason, the Boston Celtics will need all hands on deck if they wish to go for a long run, and these two players are certainly deserving of extended time in the rotation.
With the playoffs officially starting tomorrow for the Boston Celtics, it should come as no surprise to you that we here at the Houdini are absolutely eating, breathing, and sleeping ideas about the C’s gameplan.
From their preparation on defense to try and combat the ferocity that is the Philadelphia 76ers’ frontcourt — specifically Joel Embiid — to how they plan on working with/ around Kemba Walker‘s knee ailments, there are many questions pertaining to what Brad Stevens and co. will think up to try and get through this upcoming series as fast as possible.
In the postseason, traditionally a team will tend to roll out the usual lineup that they’ve utilized for the majority of the campaign; the one that had brought them so far.
That said, in regard to the 2019-20 season, things have been far from traditional and, in turn, so, too, could their decision making in the playoffs, specifically pertaining to their player rotation.
Thanks to the eight seeding games in the Disney bubble, a few players have emerged as prime candidates to take on bigger roles come Boston’s first-round matchup against the Sixers.
These players read as follows:
Robert Williams III, PF/ C
First up, we have the man Boston Celtics fans have been raving about ever since he was drafted 27th overall back in 2018. Robert Williams III has showcased an unbelievable combination of defensive chops and otherworldly athleticism, but for the duration of his tenure, he has not been able to stay on the hardwood long enough to prove his worth.
Until this year’s seeding games.
Accumulating proper playing time in essentially just four games — played just 13 seconds in their August 4th bout against Miami, and just shy of six minutes in their final game against Washington –, Williams impressed thoroughly.
Finishing the seeding games averaging 10.4 points, four rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 85 percent shooting from the field in 12.6 minutes per game, a healthy Time Lord finally managed to produce at a level we’ve been waiting to see since his arrival.
Now, moving into the playoffs, we could seriously use for some continued success from the big man, especially to combat the intimidating size that Philly possesses in the frontcourt.
Semi Ojeleye, SF/ PF
Though he may not be the most talented of players or prospects the Boston Celtics currently have on their roster, Semi Ojeleye has proven to be quite serviceable during the Disney bubble thus far and, with the fact that the team is expected to lose Gordon Hayward should they play into late September, he’s likely to be the recipient of many of his minutes.
With this in mind, it might behoove Brad Stevens to get the 25-year-old going early to prepare him for an increased role later on down the road.
Quietly, Ojeleye served as one of the most consistent role players during the team’s eight seeding-games. Finishing out the games with 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds on 41 percent shooting from the floor, the third-year forward showcased the ability to be a quality 3-and-D contributor for the shamrocks in this year’s postseason.
Add in the fact that he has ample experience during this time of the season — even starting three playoff games back in 2017-18 — and you’ve got all the reason to bestow Semi Ojeleye a proper amount of playing time, starting in round-one.