The Boston Celtics are in a decent spot with 25 games remaining in the regular season. They are certainly playoff bound and it looks as if they will even have a chance to climb a spot or two with some consistent play over the final stretch. The biggest question when it comes to the rotation is whether or not any of the new additions to the roster will work out and create roles in Doc Rivers‘ system for themselves.
The Celtics have eight players that have cemented spots in the rotation for the long haul, unless some sort of miracle comes out of any of the new kids in town. They have an impressive first eight: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Chris Wilcox. These are the players who have pretty secure spots in terms of their guaranteed minutes and this is about the shortest that the rotation can go.
However, the Celtics have three new players to evaluate, two of whom are on temporary contracts. There is a chance for some valuable minutes among veteran players in a playoff push where there is quite a bit of parity, even including the higher-seeded teams. This team truly believes that it can make a run and do some pretty significant damage, even if they are far from favorites. It’s a huge opportunity for any young player to make an impression, either with the Celtics organization or to put themselves in better position for a guaranteed deal in the NBA. Let’s break down the new guys.
Jordan Crawford: I think it’s pretty evident that Crawford is going to be a priority and not an experiment. He’s young and the Celtics went out and got him because they believe he can truly contribute and, hopefully, improve. With Rivers as his coach, he’s going to have to earn his minutes by improving his shot selection and showing that he can be more reliable in providing an offensive spark off the bench. He’s also going to have to show that he can defend and rebound. If he can start hitting the glass even just slightly, there is a chance he earns a bigger role. However, if he comes into games, just jacks up bad shots from beyond the arc and doesn’t show discipline in moving the ball, he’s going to be sitting a lot more. Crawford has a chance to find a home here with a change of scenery and the ability to prove his worth.
Terrence Williams: Williams is an interesting case because he certainly has loads more potential than most 10-day contract acquisitions. He’s shown some impressive IQ in terms of being able to find guys on the offensive end and create plays with some form of ease and comfort. He’s taken 13 shots in 45 minutes combined over four games with the Celtics while also tallying six assists, eight rebounds and 13 total points. Obviously it’s a tiny sample size, but if Williams can add some intangibles and run the offense on a consistent basis, it’s more than likely that he can earn himself some minutes and get some eyes on him around the league.
D.J. White: White has a chance at probably the largest amount of minutes among the new additions simply because of the Celtics’ size issues. He has yet to play a game but will debut this Friday at home against the Golden State Warriors. White has usually played hard when given the opportunity and he’s certainly in basketball shape. If he can provide the Celtics with his decent outside shooting and good decision-making around the basket, he can earn himself some huge minutes. Although it’s a long shot, he could even take minutes away from Wilcox and Bass if he can pound the glass with consistency and provide some much needed inside presence on the offensive end. His defense remains a question, but if he can just buy into the system and not make too many glaring mistakes, he’ll have some guaranteed minutes on this size-depleted roster.
Each one of these three have a big opportunity to earn some reserve minutes on a playoff team. If even one of these guys can contribute on any given night, it’s a nice pick-up for an inspired Celtics team.
Eric St. Cyr is a NBA contributor for Rantsports.com Follow him on Twitter @ericJsaint