For the last 6 or so years the Celtics starting lineup had been as certain as it could get. Three hall-of-famers started with Rondo at the point and one more filler at the 5. Then KG became a center. Then we got Brandon Bass. Then suddenly Avery replaced Ray and he became the starter. Then Ray bolted to Miami. Then we got Jared Sullinger. Then Rondo went down. And on, and on, and on
The points is we went from a more than decided starting lineup in Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins to where we are right now, looking to start the 2013-14 season. Where we are right now is in a place when there is probably only one certain starter (with Rondo injured) and that is Jeff Green. All of the other positions could be discussed and everyone could make a point for any player right now. I feel that anyone can even say “You know what, start Jordan Crawford at PG” and that person who says that can actually be heard.
This makes this season, and the start of it, that much more interesting. There is one spot safe at the small forward, filled with #8. The rest, are filled with question marks. There are so many different combinations that Brad Stevens could make, so many lineups he could try, that we could spend days talking about them all.
So this time around, we decided to ask our crew about who they think will be labeled as starters on October 30th. The question for today is: What is your opening night’s starting five?
HeisenCelts: “This is a tough one. Going position based it would be fairly easy going with just Pressey, AB, Green, Sully, Faverani. Problem is we all know it isn’t that easy right? As much as I liked Pressey’s pace and ability to handle the offense on summer league, well its summer league. Starting on opening night? I don’t know about that one. Vitor is just as inexperienced and I haven’t seen him play a single second. So to solve this problem I’m going with Brooks, AB, Green, Sullinger, Humphries. I know Brooks should be a 6th man but he’s one dude I would totally trust can dribble the ball. Plus adding some offense to that starting group won’t hurt. I hate the Humphries choice, but I am not starting Olynyk against huge, physical centers early in the season.”
JoshZavadil: “Phil Pressey, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Kris Humphries, Vitor Faverani. I understand how (predictably) dumb and awful that sounds and I’m fine with it.”
KWAPT: “Rondo, Avery, Jeff, Brandon Bass & Olynyk.”
AusCelticsFan: “How long is a piece of string? I should probably answer this one when I’ve polished off a few glasses of whiskey. Ok, i’m going to try and be sincere on this as much as I can. As much as I can since our only true Centre and healthy true Point Guard are un-drafted Rookies. If this season is going to be basically a season of re-building, learning new offenses, tinkering with different tandems and trios as we know Brad Stevens is a big advocate of, then I’m not completely against throwing all caution to the wind, and throwing Vitor in at Centre. I mean, why not? If we’re going to struggle at the start of the season, give the guy minutes, let him get used to the NBA, otherwise, why do we have him, and why is he our only true Centre (not counting any further potential trades). If indeed Rondo is going to miss a portion of the season, are we willing to throw Phil Pressey into the Starting PG spot? I’m not, but what other options do we have besides use a combination of guards to bring the ball up. But this doesn’t necessarily equate to running an offense. And I won’t hear any of that Avery Bradley at the PG position bull. Stop stunting his development as a Shooting Guard. Yo Keyon Dooling, where you at?
PG: (Insert combination of letters from the Alphabet here)
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
SportsGal: “Opening night starting 5? I don’t care as long as Bass is in there. Did you really expect me to say anything else?”
PakkAtackk: “Pressey, Bradley, Green, Sullinger, Humphries. I don’t think Rondo will be ready, Avery & Green are to be expected, Sullinger deserves first try at the 4 spot & Humphries because he’s like, the only option.”
GeeZeeCeltics: “I’d go with Courtney Lee, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kris Humphries. I’m not ready to hand the keys to Phil Pressey nor would I be willing to trust a first-year center in Vitor Faverani to start right away. There’s not a lot of ballhandlers on the team, and I think Courtney could do the best job out of him, Crawford and Brooks. The rest are self-explanatory, more or less.”
I just want you all to notice that 4 out of 7 have Humphries in the starting lineup. Dude can probably play; let’s give him at least a small window to not hate him completely. If he turns out anything near good he could be very valuable at the deadline or next off-season for a sign and trade.
The call is on Stevens. He has a full training camp and preseason to figure out what combination he’ll use.
It’s not even that important, either. After all, the lineup he uses on October 30th could be different to the one he uses on November 1st.