BOSTON -- When it comes to figuring out who will stick and who will be sent packing off the Celtics roster, coach Brad Stevens acknowledges that there’s no one factor that will make the decision easy.
Stevens is well aware that whatever decision Boston makes, it will likely mean a relatively young player will be waived or traded.
Knowing this is something his youthful players are concerned about, Stevens says the pressure of the moment is among the factors he and his staff, as well as the front office, are weighing.
“That’s one of the reasons why you don’t jump to conclusions after one game or one practice of one performance,” Stevens said. “Because that’s a lot of weight on people’s shoulders. And I have a great deal of respect for everybody in that locker room. As I’ve said many times before, just to be able to put that jersey on, whether you’re on the final roster or not … you’re a pretty special basketball player.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
James Young: His basketball life is on the line and Young has risen to the occasion repeatedly in the preseason. We have seen him provide intangibles such as hustling down loose balls, making the “hockey assist” and rebounding the ball better than he has at any point in the NBA. On Monday he got it going offensively, scoring 8 of his 10 points in the third quarter when Boston blew the game open. His future with the Celtics remains up in the air, but to his credit he has done all he can to make the choice as tough as possible.
Isaiah Thomas: He only played 15 minutes but Thomas made the most of his court time, scoring a game-high 19 points on a flawless 6-for-6 shooting night. Prior to Monday night’s shooting performance, Thomas had been connecting on just 38.2 percent (13-for-34) of his shots from the field. After Monday’s game, he’s now shooting a respectable 47.5 percent from the floor.
Sean Kilpatrick: He did some nice things for the Nets and made open shots when they presented themselves. He had a team-high 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Amir Johnson: He was as active on the glass as we’ve seen in the preseason, finishing with six rebounds. He also chipped in seven points, two assists and a steal.
Jaylen Brown: This was a game in which Brown had some problems defensively (he was whistled for five personal fouls in just under 20 minutes), but he remains a tough cover for many players trying to limit him. Brown was 5-for-8 shooting and finished with 12 points, which was tops among Boston’s backups.
Brook Lopez: He logged just under 19 minutes of court time, most of which was spent being ineffective. Despite having a size advantage most of the night, Lopez had six points while missing six of his eight shot attempts in addition to turning the ball over three times.