The postseason is usually time when teams shorten their rotations, but Brad Stevens may be able to get some situational burn out of these 3 Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics are seven wins away from banner #18, and the Miami Heat loom as a tough out in every game moving forward. Erik Spoelstra’s Heat have shown they have that extra gear in late game situations, while Brad Stevens’ men have been prone to blow leads late and lose in heat-breaking fashion.
That said, Stevens may have an overall deeper roster than his South Beach counterpart. With that, he can find specific plug-and-play roles for some of the more underutilized members of the Cs roster.
Here are 3 such situational roles for said second-unit stars:
Robert Williams: Plug in when Daniel Theis is in foul trouble
Robert Williams has been scarcely used this series against Miami; the Time Lord has logged just 11:24–minutes he accrued all in Game 1. That said, the postseason usually reveals a lot about the depth chart in one way or another;
Williams could find his minutes in late games, matching up physically well with Bam Adebayo. Ideally, he’d be a plug-in if Daniel Theis happened to have trouble this series
Enes Kanter: Plug in when Bam Adebayo is out of the lineup
Enes Kanter proved to be a valuable bench piece for the Boston Celtics with his strong play in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers. He was less prevalent in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, logging just seven minutes as he ceded his minutes to Robert Williams.
Against Miami, Kanter is not an ideal matchup against their All-Star center Bam Adebayo. However, when the Kentucky product takes a seat, Kanter could dominate against the likes of Kelly Olynyk in the paint–just as he did in a 4-4 Game 2 performance from the field.
Grant Williams: Small-ball center to close out games
At the end of an NBA game, numerous timeout calls and play stoppages see rapid fire substitution patterns from head coaches. For the Boston Celtics, the ends of games should now see their “five-leaf clover” lineup of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum in most situations.
However, certain situations may call for the defensive chops of Grant Williams, whose beyond-the-stat-sheet level contributions have led to the rookie receiving roughly 10 minutes per contest, even with the return of Hayward.