Stevens Warns Not To Read Into C's Lineups

WALTHAM, Mass. – Everyone out there is wondering which five players will make up the starting lineup for the Boston Celtics. We’ll find out the answer to that question when the C’s open up their preseason schedule Monday night, but Brad Stevens has warned us all to take that answer with a grain of salt.

“You can look into it as much as you want, but I would say it’s more of we’re just looking for, ‘Hey, this combination might be something we’re interested in. This bench combination might be something we’re interested in,’” Stevens said after Sunday afternoon’s practice.

“The first unit, the second unit, one thing I’ll probably try to do is put some guys together who I think may fit together better, whether that means they end up starting or they come off the bench, I think that’s to be determined.”

Stevens also made it clear that the starting lineup is likely to change quite a bit throughout this preseason.

“I just told the guys, and I told you guys this yesterday, we’re going to be tinkering with lineups quite a bit,” he said. “I don’t know what we’ll do in games 2, 3 and 4, but I’m guessing we will not start the same lineup. I’m guessing we’ll really shift things around.”

In other words, this preseason is essentially going to be a lengthy experiment for Stevens and his coaching staff. It’s too early for them to know who should start, who should come off the bench, or even who complements each other well. These are the games that will help to iron out those wrinkles.

“We know that’s what preseason is for. That’s why it’s called preseason,” said Jared Sullinger. “Just every day, just trying to find out a lineup that works, and hopefully we’ll do that this preseason.”

These alternating lineups might confuse fans, but this is something the Celtics are well used to. Stevens has been operating his practices in a similar fashion, where everyone plays with everyone and there are no consistent lineups.

“We’ve been doing it in practice,” said Avery Bradley, who’s likely to be the team’s starting point guard until Rajon Rondo returns from injury. “So I feel like whatever lineup he throws out there we’ll be comfortable, because we’ve all been playing with each other.”

Bradley also noted that he’s in the same boat as all of us – even he doesn’t know who will start for the C’s on Monday. He, along with the rest of us, will find out tomorrow, but we all need to remember to take that information with a grain of salt.