Brian Scalabrine ‘Doesn’t Understand’ This Celtics Strategy Vs. 76ers

'The net rating of those two guys is amazing'


May 11, 2023

One of the Celtics’ most effective lineups last season hasn’t seen much run in Boston’s Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with Philadelphia.

For whatever reason, C’s head coach Joe Mazzulla has largely elected not to have Al Horford and Robert Williams III on the floor at the same time in the best-of-seven series against the 76ers. Boston knows this double-big five works, as it arguably was the Celtics’ best personnel grouping over the course of its run to the 2022 NBA Finals.

It’s a coaching decision that Brian Scalabrine can’t wrap his head around.

“I don’t understand why we’re not playing Rob and Al,” Scalabrine said Wednesday on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego,” as transcribed by Audacy. “I’ve had arguments with Joe on the plane or in the back room and I never would bring it up. I just trust that their numbers — they have so much more access than I do. The net rating of those two guys is amazing. I don’t understand why they’re not on the floor together. They must know something more than I do, but I would think that those two guys need to play together, especially against a big, physical team like the Philadelphia 76ers.”

Scalabrine isn’t the only Celtics champion who’s befuddled by the strategy. Former Boston center Kendrick Perkins believes Mazzulla “better” start playing Horford and Williams together if the Celtics want to advance past the Sixers.

Perhaps Mazzulla will press that button Thursday night when Boston tries to keep its season alive at Wells Fargo Center.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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