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How much should each Celtics Player Play in the Preseason?

The NBA Preseason is primed to begin very shortly. With that in mind, there are a few questions about where each team is currently at. Today, my focus is going to be on the fully loaded Celtics. Media Day really let the outside viewer know how confident this team is in this upcoming season. The squad is deep and Marcus Morris dubbed the bench unit “BWA: Bench With Attitude”. With the likes of Morris, Smart, and Rozier, he’s not wrong in saying that. Boston’s second unit will not let other teams catch their breath or take it easy. The preseason is about to begin and I’m going to dive in to what Boston should do with all of their talent within their 4-game preseason schedule.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie is an odd one here to look into. He’s coming off an injury that ended his season, but he’s Kyrie frickin Irving. In all seriousness, his injury is a vital piece to what Brad Stevens should do with him. You want to test him to make sure his body is up for the speed of the game but overplaying him is not ideal. What they should do with Kyrie is play him his normal amount he is expected to play in the first quarter. Then, they should sub him into the rotation as they would in the second. There is no need for Kyrie to play any second halves during the preseason schedule. The first half will provide enough information regarding if his body is ready to perform in regular season play.

Gordon Hayward

People are dying to see Hayward play some basketball in a Celtics uniform. It’s been close to a year since we’ve seen Gordo in a real game wearing Celtics green. His injury was a bit more extensive than Kyrie’s and way more graphic. With that said, I think Stevens should play Gordon Hayward as much as he can. In an interview with Rachel Nichols, Gordon Hayward mentioned how his reaction time is a bit off since he hasn’t played live action in so long. If possible, Hayward should play the amount time he would play in the regular season in the four preseason games.

Al Horford

Al is a veteran at this point. The father figure of the Celtics. A stud. However, he should still play early on in each game. Horford needs to establish a rhythm with the guys he’s playing next to. The Celtics have great depth at the center position with Baynes, Theis, and Williams behind Al, so he will only need to play early on.

Jaylen Brown

This is now Jaylen’s third season in the NBA. Brown made a huge jump from years 1 to 2. In year 3, he can solidify himself as the type of player he will be for his entire career. Contrary to that, Jaylen can add new things to his arsenal that’ll define the type of player he is. Last year he added deadly three point shooting to his game. Since Brown is still a young player, I think he should play a fair amount of time in each preseason game. Slightly less than what he should expect in the regular season.

Jayson Tatum

Since the beginning of the playoffs last season, Jayson Tatum has received a ridiculous amount of hype. Now is the time to either live up to the hype or crash and burn from it. Tatum needs to go into the preseason and ball. Stevens shouldn’t play him less to let him shy away from the spotlight. I personally want him playing the same number of minutes that he will see in the regular season. He’s only going into his second year meaning he is nowhere near being done developing.

Marcus Smart

Smart is one player who I don’t think needs a ton of playing time in the preseason but will get it anyways. He’s going into his 5th season and is best known for his scrappiness and defensive prowess. Smart will be mixing and matching within rotations, so it’ll be good for him to get comfortable in that regard. Ideally, he will be playing about 5-10 minutes less than what he should expect in the regular season.

Terry Rozier

Terry is pretty similar to Smart in his stature with the team, however, I think it would be best for him to get quite a lot of playing time this preseason. After all, Scary Terry is going to be leading this second unit. The BWA (Bench With Attitude) starts and stops with Rozier. His shot needs to look as good as it has and his playmaking ability needs to be pristine. Rozier’s preseason minutes should mimic what he will be doing in the regular season.

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris is an older player in regard to this team. His role is to be a dominant defensive player and a great deep range scorer. He only needs to play in the preseason to figure out which rotations work best with him in them. Morris is gonna be the guy who stirs shit up with the other team and gets into their heads. The preseason isn’t the place for that. Much like Smart, I believe that Morris should play 5-10 minutes less than what he’s expected to in the regular season.

Aron Baynes

Baynes started at center for the majority of last season. Adjusting to a prominent bench role is something he will really need to do. A lot of minutes in the preseason should be focused on playing him around Smart, Rozier, and Morris. I suspect his playing time will be close to what he’s getting in the regular season.

Daniel Theis

Theis was a great pickup for Boston last season. He provided a stout defensive edge and was effective offensively as well. He is coming off a knee injury that ended his season last year. For that fact alone, I don’t picture him getting a ton of minutes. He’ll slowly get back to the minutes he expects to see in the regular season, but not a ton in the preseason.

Robert Williams

The last person I’m including is the rookie the Celtics just drafted. Robert Williams is a big man who is known for his athleticism and shot-blocking. Since it is the preseason, the rookie should expect to see a ton of playing time. This is where Brad Stevens will figure out what is going to happen with Williams during the season. I am excited to see how Williams plays under the spotlight.

-Brandon Black ()

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