Pregame Post-Ups: How Langford Could Impact Celtics
Tuesday, April 6 - 76ers at Celtics
Pregame – How Langford's Presence Could Impact Celtics
Romeo Langford is, in fact, real, and he can make a real impact on the Boston Celtics.
Celtics fans playfully joked that Langford was a mythical figure after he missed the first 49 games of Boston’s season. He returned to action Sunday night to help the Celtics dominate Charlotte, thanks in large part to his defense.
Langford made an immediate impact at that end of the floor with an eye-opening blocked shot off of help defense that went along with impressive on-ball defense at other moments. Brad Stevens wasn’t coy while discussing just how impactful Langford’s presence could be for a Boston defense that has struggled without him this season.
“He steps into our team without playing as one of our better wing defenders right now, and I think that that is where he has a chance to impact us the most,” Stevens said before Tuesday’s matchup with Philadelphia. “As you know, one of our challenges this year has been we’ve ultimately often been small at that (wing) spot off the bench. That allows everybody to guard a little bit better when you have a guy that’s so versatile that you can throw in there.”
Langford is 6-foot-4 but possesses a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He is also an elite athlete whose instincts and lateral agility are top-notch. Langford’s availability gives Stevens rotational options that the coach simply did not have earlier this season.
“The other thing I think is good is he allows us to play other smalls and try other smalls,” Stevens noted. “I think sometimes it’s hard to play Payton (Pritchard) and Carsen (Edwards) together. But sometimes there’s matchups where we need to look at Carsen. And it’s hard to play Kemba (Walker) and Payton together. I just think you have opportunities with Romeo that complement some of our smaller players.”
So not only is Langford going to immediately impact the defense, but his presence might also allow his teammates to slide into more comfortable and effective roles. That can’t be overlooked.
He is real, and he's going to give the Celtics a real boost at a time when they badly need it.
- Marc D'Amico