Why Did Boston Celtics’ Coach Brad Stevens Bench Starters in Loss?

Brad Stevens

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics again give up big lead in second half and ultimately fall to the Atlanta Hawks 92-91. The Celtics were up by 16 in the second quarter, but let the Hawks crawl back within five before the half ended. Brad Stevens decided to sit the starters and stick with his bench for most of the second half.

The only starters to see over 30 minutes in the game were Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford. The starters were pulled in the third quarter after giving up the lead, and Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger never stepped on the court again. Bradley and Crawford were finally put back in with about four minutes to go.

The first unit was disorientated and out of sync. Stevens is clearly sick of the second-half struggles by the starters and tried to put an end to it. He felt it was time to make a change and put the game in the bench’s hands. “I believe they deserved to win the game for us,” said Stevens after the game. The bench, led by Kelly Olynyk, provided energy and a significant spark. However, it ran out of gas in the last few minutes of the game.

Olynyk led the team with 21 points and added five assists. Kris Humphries recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. It looked like the bench was on their way to victory, but did not have enough left in the waning minutes of the game.

Apparently, Green and Bass got into a disagreement on the bench and had a few words with each other. Stevens denied that the incident played into the decision to sit the starters.Nonetheless, it is critical for the starters, who scored a combined 35 total points, to fix whatever issues they are having. Stevens is fed up with their recent play, and the Celtics need to pull together and be strong for 48 minutes every game.

Michael LeDuc writes about the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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