BOSTON — There’s no denying Aron Baynes and Terry Rozier have been an important part of the Boston Celtics this season. Both players have stepped up in shorthanded situations and proven they either can start or come off the bench.
Baynes, who made his return to the lineup Jan. 16 after suffering a broken hand in December, will get the start Wednesday night in place of Al Horford (rest) when the C’s host the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden. The big man has been a vital part of the defense for Boston, and head coach Brad Stevens praised Baynes’ impact both on and off the bench.
“I think his impact on our team is huge, his ability — whether he comes off the bench or starts, his spirit is felt,” Stevens said. “And you can feel in in practice, you can feel it just around the gym. And he’s obviously a great defender who has his spots offensively.”
Rozier also will get the start in place of Kyrie Irving (flu-like symptoms). And despite the bench unit struggling in Monday’s win against the Miami Heat, Stevens knows he always can count on Rozier to step up.
“On nights like (Wednesday) you got a guy that you can turn to that you know has been there, done that,” Stevens said. “And I thought he had a really good weekend on Friday and Saturday. I thought our whole bunch struggled a little bit on Monday. But that was a really tough game and we’re expecting another one tonight. And Terry’s presence on the ball defensively and his ability to get us into offense quickly is what we’re going to need from him. He’s great at both of those things.”
Despite the Cavs also being shorthanded, the Celtics will need their starters and reserves to bring their best basketball if they want to extend their win streak to five games.