The Boston Celtics are running it back with many of their core players from last year.
But with Gordon Hayward’s departure to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, there is a spot up for grabs in the starting lineup.
Of course, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are sure-fire starters. But with the team signing Tristan Thompson in free agency, there’s question of whether he or Daniel Theis will start the season at center.
And that’s not including the void that will be left by Walker at point guard as he faces time off and a minutes restriction at the beginning of the season while he strengthens his knees.
So the question everyone wants to know from Brad Stevens is who will take the court first on opening night as Boston starts its season against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Well, it doesn’t seem like he has decided yet.
?We are very much in evaluation phase,? Stevens said Wednesday, via MassLive’s John Karalis. ?I know it?s a question you have to ask and I know it?s something that everybody talks about but starting is so often inconsequential to what happens throughout the whole game. I think starting the second half has an even bigger impact.
?Unfortunately, it?s such a big talking point and it?s been made into such a big deal by everyone where I think what we are trying to do is just find how it best fits together. Obviously, the guys that are most impactful to winning will play the most. Whether that means they are starting or not, I don?t know.?
An option, of course, is to pull Smart into the starting lineup from his usual role handling the ball with the second unit. There’s also the possibility of playing with two bigs, or with Theis or Grant Williams playing at the 4.
We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.