Boston Celtics: 3 replacements for Gordon Hayward in the starting lineup

Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Replacement for Hayward No. 1) Robert Williams III

This replacement is not as clean of a shakeup as the other two that are to follow. That said, it could be an interesting experiment to try out, especially against the physically dominating Philadelphia 76ers.

Just because Gordon Hayward is a small forward, that doesn’t mean his vacancy in the starting lineup needs to automatically be filled by another player of the same position. Instead, what the Boston Celtics could decide to do is keep their lineup the same at the one and two spots (Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown), slide Jayson Tatum up to the three from the four, then move current starting center Daniel Theis to the four, and place Robert Williams III in at the five.

To say Time Lord’s 2020 postseason got off to a great start would be a grandiose overstatement. Logging a bit over 12 minutes, Williams finished Monday’s outing with two points, six rebounds, and four personal fouls on a mere 25 percent shooting from the field.

These numbers, of course, are nothing to write home about, but from what we saw during the seeding games — 10.4 points, four rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 85 percent shooting from the field in 12.6 minutes per game — he has the ability to make a legitimate impact on a game.

His showing in game-one should not deter the Celtics from rolling him out consistently. At the end of the day, he’s an uber-athletic big with unbelievable defensive awareness/ instincts.

A lineup of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams III could consist of the right combination of talent and size to combat that of Philly’s towering core.