Brad Stevens Calls Celtics’ Two-Big Starting Lineup ‘Too Inconsistent’

Tristan Thompson believes Boston will figure it out


Jan 3, 2021

As Kemba Walker continues to miss time with the Boston Celtics early in the season, coach Brad Stevens commonly has been starting two bigs.

The lineup with Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis, while rotating in Robert Williams as a second-unit center, isn’t on the floor for a ton of time throughout the game, but usually is at the start of each half.

And it’s been inconsistent so far, to say the least.

The group has come out really hot, really cold, and may have been all the difference in a loss to Detroit Pistons on Friday where the unit committed 16 turnovers.

The unit of Thompson, Theis, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, in a sample size of 125 possessions, has a minus-21 efficiency differential.

“It has probably been too inconsistent to draw a conclusion, but maybe that is the conclusion,” Stevens told reporters Saturday during a video press conference, via MassLive’s Gage Nutter.

“The first half start was not due to what alignment we were in or anything like that. It was the fact that we just stunk at the beginning of the game … the best way to say it is that it was five people, not two. We were not good out of the gate yesterday.”

Boston hasn’t worked out the kinks yet, but Thompson still believes the lineup gives the Celtics the most versatility on defense.

“The double big, I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” Thompson said, via MassLive. “Defensively it should help us. … Offensively our team has so much movement with the ball whether it be dribble hand offs or pick and rolls to pin downs. … When you look around the league, whether it’s Indiana, Lakers, Clippers at times; a lot of teams play two bigs. You can make it work. It’s just a lot of movement. The game has always been three guards two bigs, so it’s not foreign.”

We’ll see if Stevens rolls out that same lineup Sunday as the Celtics face the Pistons again.

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens
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