It was approximately five minutes into the season that the Boston Celtics lost Gordon Hayward for the season. Ever since then they have been shorthanded in the depth category. As the playoffs have gone on, the Celtics have gotten more and more depleted. Marcus Smart, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis have all missed significant time and are all out in this year’s playoffs. As the Celtics head back to Boston, they are looking for a spark in a few aspects to help them defeat the Milwaukee Bucks.
The increased roles of Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris:
For a very long time, Terry Rozier was thrust into a sixth of even seventh man role. He is now the Celtics starting point guard and averaging almost 11 more minutes in the playoffs compared to the regular season.
Marcus Morris is also being used more but also expected to score more. His minutes are up from 26.8 to 30 per game but his scoring has also been up. A guy who has scored over 20 just six times this season has already done it once in the playoffs. Two of the Celtics most important role players have been thrust into crucial and more important roles this postseason.
The Lack of Bench scoring:
The lack of depth is a huge part of this. The Boston Celtics just flat out aren’t getting scoring production from their bench. In game four they got just 15 total bench points, and 13 of those points were from before mentioned Marcus Morris. In game three and four combined the Celtics are getting outscored 81-49. Being that one of their best bench scorers is now their starting point guard, the bench scoring is bound to be lacking. However, the Celtics need someone who doesn’t normally step up to do just that.
The Worst possible draw:
Even though the Celtics are the two seed in the east, they have a very tough matchup. We have seen in previous seasons that different teams are tough to match up with and the Bucks are a difficult matchup for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have gone with a center in 67 games this season, but the Bucks don’t play the same style.
Aron Baynes has been the starting big man alongside Al Horford. Even though he only averages 18 minutes, Baynes has been less productive in the playoffs. Milwaukee at many different times in a game uses Giannis Antetokounmpo as their center. Obviously, this isn’t a strong matchup for either Aron Baynes or for backup center Greg Monroe. Instead, Greg Monroe has played far less than his season average and Baynes has played more but less effectively.
This is the part of the program where Celtics fans can harp on just how much their team misses Daniel Theis.
Daniel Theis is a 6’9″ undrafted rookie who started to come into his own before he tore his meniscus. In 67 games this season, (3 starts) Daniel Theis averaged 5.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists. He played 14.3 minutes and seemed to have his best games. In his last three games before injury he averaged 12.3 points and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes. He was athletic enough to guard a guy like Giannis on the perimeter but could also guard Giannis in the post.
Despite being a role player, Theis could have played a huge role in this series.
No reason to panic:
The phrase is always “A series doesn’t start until a team wins on the road”. The Boston Celtics should not be worried. The role players have all proven to play much better at home compared to on the road. The Celtics still have home court advantage and whether the Celtics end up losing game three by 24 or 1 a loss is a loss. There is no reason for Brad Stevens and company to panic and if the Celtics can get a game 7 in Boston, I think they will be more than happy all things considered.
Featured image from NBC SPORTS.
“From Our Haus to Yours”