Pregame Post-Ups: Boston's Bench Coming into Its Own at Right Time
Saturday, March 16 - Hawks at Celtics
Pregame – Boston's Bench Coming into Its Own at Right Time
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics went into this season believing that they could have one of the most productive second units in the NBA. Considering the depth of their talented roster, it was a reasonable presumption to have.
It took some time for everyone to jell and feel comfortable within their roles, but it appears that the C’s are beginning to live up to their second-unit expectations.
Over the past couple of months, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward have embraced their roles, thriving as the leaders of the second unit. Over the last five games in particular, they have helped Boston’s second unit produce 43.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41.1 percent shooting from 3-point range, which has played a huge part in helping the C’s win four games during that span.
“Our bench has been good for the most part in the last month and a half or so,” Coach Brad Stevens said Saturday morning at TD Garden, where the C’s were about to tip off for a matinee matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. “We talked about being able to maximize everybody and throughout a whole 48 minutes. It’s taken a long time to get there. I still think we can play better as starters and as the bench, but I do think we have some things we can go to when that bench comes in that I think are unique versus a lot of second units.”
Sacramento star scorer Buddy Hield explained exactly what is so unique about Boston’s bench Friday night, after his squad coughed up a 17-point lead to the C’s.
“The Celtics are so good that they have guys off the bench that are starters,” Hield said from inside the visitor’s locker room at TD Garden. “You have Jaylen, you have Gordon and they are coming at you regardless of who you are they are fearless.”
In the locker room across the hall, Hayward expressed a similar opinion about Boston’s bench.
“We try to get in there and I think we should dominate most second units in the league, if not all of them, just with the talent that we have in that group,” said Hayward, who has seen his scoring production rise each month this season and is shooting 57.9 percent in March. “I think trying to get it up and push, especially with T-Ro (Terry Rozier) and Jaylen, we can really get out and run, get some easy ones and really get ourselves going.”
Having such great production out of its second unit is vital for Boston at this time of year, as depth can go a long way come playoff time.
- Taylor Snow