Given Kristaps Porzingis's calf injury, one that will sideline him for a week or more, the Boston Celtics must take it upon themselves to find an answer in the frontcourt on a second unit that hasn't looked up to the task of addressing the question of what their bench bigs are able to produce in support of the starters.
On November 26 against the Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden, expected fan-favorite Neemias Queta delivered the clearest answer yet for Joe Mazzulla; pitching in seven points and 10 rebounds in 15 minutes of floor-time.
With the performance, Queta may have surpassed Luke Kornet in the frontcourt rotation moving forward. Kornet played just nine minutes in the 113-103 win over Atlanta.
Boston Celtics analyst was bullish on Neemias Queta during the offseason
Credit NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg for seeing Queta's potential and giving fans plenty of context as to why the Utah State product was a fan favorite during his previous stop with the Sacramento Kings.
"While the Celtics have durability questions at the center spot given the injury histories of Williams III and newly added Kristaps Porzingis, along with the advanced age of Al Horford, the team is positioned this year to balance the workload of their big men," Forsberg prefaced before saying, "Still, Queta should get plenty of reps in training camp, which could allow him to start earning the trust of the coaching staff.
"Ultimately, Boston is adding a young 7-footer who has only scratched the surface of his potential. Watch any highlight mix and you’ll find him sprinting the floor, blocking shots, and finishing with both hands around the basket. It’s easy to see how he was a fan favorite in Sacramento."
If he can get the Celtics past Porzingis's injury with minimal slowdowns, Queta will quickly be a fan-favorite in Boston as well.