Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Speaks Highly of Langford's Potential
Wednesday, Dec. 11 - Celtics at Pacers
Pregame – Stevens Speaks Highly of Langford's Potential
BOSTON – Celtics fans haven’t seen a whole lot of Romeo Langford this season, as the rookie guard has dealt with myriad injuries dating back to Summer League. Coach Brad Stevens, however, has seen plenty of what the 20-year-old has to offer, and believes that in time, he could make a great impact on the team.
Celtics fans may get a chance to catch a glimpse of what Langford has to offer Wednesday night, as he has been cleared to play against the Pacers after being previously sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Stevens, in the meantime, gave us a little a preview what the 6-foot-6 Indiana native has to offer.
“I think Romeo has a chance to be a really good player,” the coach said ahead of tip-off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “The number one thing that he brings to the table is just he’s got a feel for the game. I think that he’s obviously got length, athleticism and all that stuff, but he’s able to read the game and read tough things on the fly. And so, when we put him in situations where he has been available to go, he’s really done a nice job of that.
“I think he’s improved, but obviously he's been dealing with all the little injuries and the nagging things, and that just ultimately sets you back and makes it difficult in this league.”
Those injuries include recovering from right thumb surgery throughout the entire offseason, a right knee sprain, which he sustained during the preseason, and back-to-back right ankle sprains, both of which he suffered while playing for the Maine Red Claws.
That string of health issues has made learning the Celtics system and adjusting to the NBA game a bit tough on Langford, but once he catches on, Stevens believes he could eventually earn a solid role in the rotation.
“Romeo could be in the mix for that next spot that we’ve been rotating and trying to figure out who fits best,” Stevens said. “And that may be game-to-game. That may be night-to-night. I think the best thing for Romeo, just because he hasn’t been around us as much from an injury standpoint, is to go and play in Maine and get as much conditioning in as possible over the next month, and then we’ll be better able to assess it.”
The next week, in particular, could prove to be a critical period in Langford’s development. After this back-to-back against Indiana and Philadelphia, the Celtics will have five consecutive days off without a game, which should give Langford some time to catch up now that he is healthy.
“The plan of attack is, once we hit this long stretch where we have off, is to have him go play (in Maine). He just needs to play. But we’re encouraged by him. We’re really encouraged by him.”
Despite the poor luck with his health, Langford remains encouraged as well.
“I just gotta keep pushing,” he said at this morning’s shootaround. “It’s a long season, have a long career ahead.”
Langford is hopeful that the journey down that long road will start tonight, as he’s finally active and ready to play.
- Taylor Snow