Ime Udoka Has Admission About Celtics’ Starting Lineup

'I wouldn't say it's the most energetic group'


Dec 10, 2021

Among last year’s tendencies that followed the Celtics into this season? Slow starts that end up being all the difference.

That was glaring last game, as Boston fell to the Los Angeles Clippers despite almost coming back from a 21-point deficit. If they hadn’t dug so deep a hole to begin with, perhaps it’s not at close down the stretch and the Celtics win.

“In general, when you look at our starting group I wouldn’t say it’s the most energetic group,” Ime Udoka told reporters before Friday’s game after shootaround.

“So how can we get them going as a unit, and not everybody trying to get their own game going to start the game? So we’ve looked at that, we’ve seen that — how we take pride once we get down. But we could keep ourselves out of a lot of those situations by coming out with the right mindset and the right mind frame from the start.”

The Celtics have increased their pace of play of late, especially with Dennis Schröder starting so often in Jaylen Brown’s absence. Schröder and Marcus Smart are two high-energy players in the starting unit where that energy isn’t an issue.

Instead, it might be worth while to look at the lineups in when opposing teams have gone on deep runs. Some of these rotations have been straight-up confusing at times, and despite absences, we’re deep enough into the season to where that can’t continue being an excuse.

But we’ll keep pretending its about the player’s preparation.

“I talked to them about it today,” Udoka said of their early pace.

“Start thinking about the game now at shoot around, start preparing and mentally getting ready for the game so don’t get off these bad starts.”

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics guard Dennis Schroder
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