Brad Stevens is in full-blown lineup tinkering mode, going with a different starting lineup for the second time in as many days.
Tonight’s game against Philadelphia will include a Celtics starting five that consists of their Big Three – Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford – along with Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum.
Tatum replaces Aron Baynes with the first group, although his insertion into the lineup shifts Al Horford to center.
“We just want to continue to look at different ways, and different groups playing together,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’s tip-off. “As I told them, it’s unlikely that would be something we’d set in stone by any means. But we want to continue to look at different groups and different guys together.”
Tatum, drafted by Boston with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, has been among the more talked-about Celtics in training camp thus far.
In an interview with NBC Sports Boston earlier this week, Tatum said adjusting to all the changes that come with being an NBA player has been challenging at times.
“Everything happens so much quicker,” Tatum told NBC Sports Boston. “We only practiced three, four days and then we had a preseason game. So, you have to learn everything on the fly, and you play so many different teams, it’s a lot you have to learn.”
While Tatum has drawn rave reviews from many for his scoring ability, it has been his effort defensively thus far in training camp that has caught the eye of Stevens.
“He’s totally committed to being as good a defender as he can be,” Stevens said. “When you put guys out there with Kyrie, Gordon and Al, we need guys that make the team around them better. And with that, we also have to be mindful of groups that are playing off the bench together. We want to try and be the best we can be at both ends, and I’m encouraged by Jayson’s start defensively thus far.”