Friday, October 26 – Celtics at Bucks
Pregame: Daniel Theis Gets Starting Nod for First Time in Career
PMILWAUKEE – The Boston Celtics will play their fifth game of the season tonight in Milwaukee.
That’s not a surprise.
What is a surprise is that they’ll be trotting out their fourth – yes, their fourth – starting lineup in those five games.
Brad Stevens announced 90 minutes before tip-off that Daniel Theis would be given the first start of his young NBA career. He will replace Aron Baynes in the starting lineup.
Theis will be accompanied by Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.
“He plays with great energy,” Stevens said to begin his description of Theis’ game. “He knows what he’s supposed to do. He can shoot it. He rolls to the rim. He has some ability to switch defensively. And (he) really kind’ve stays with what he does best.”
Theis is averaging 5.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 block and 12.0 minutes per game through the first three appearances of his NBA career.
Soon after discussing Theis, Stevens gave more insight as to why, exactly, he inserted the 6-foot-9 German into the starting lineup in place of Baynes – at least for tonight.
“We want to have Baynes be available to guard (Greg) Monroe,” Stevens said, referring to Milwaukee’s top interior presence off the bench.
Stevens then commented that all of these different starting lineups should come as no surprise to anyone who has covered or followed the Celtics since the start of this season. Stevens never planned to etch a starting five into stone and leave it there until the season ended.
“For us, this was the case before our roster changed a little bit,” he said. “We were going to make adjustments like this on the fly, to match up appropriately at certain times.”
Well, he wasn’t kidding, was he? We’re eight days and four starting lineups into the season, and we should expect many more of both as the Celtics continue to maneuver through their 82-game schedule.
– Marc D’Amico