NBA Notebook: Examining Celtics lineup possibilities (Go big or small?)

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One year after the Celtics overhauled their roster in the summer of 2017, Brad Stevens will have a little more time on his hands for planning ahead of training camp this September. Boston is returning all of their top 11 players from last season’s core, and that group is expected to be healthy together next month for the first time since last fall.

The impressive collection of depth will create lots of possibilities for Brad Stevens to choose from on a night-to-night basis during the 2018-19 season. The head coach showed a willingness to mix things up based on matchups through the season, something Boston Sports Journal reported early during training camp last year.

That trend is expected to continue this year, but there is still uncertainty about the composition of the default starting group. Will the Celtics stay with a traditionally big lineup or regularly begin games with small-ball? If the Celtics start big, which wing comes off the bench?

“I do think our guys have a recognition overall that that’s not what it’s about,” Stevens told Yahoo Sports when asked about the starting five last week. “It’s about trying to be the best that we can be collectively. If we all do what we do to the best of our ability, it’ll benefit everybody individually. You only get so many chances to be a part of a special group. We’re pretty fortunate to be in this position, so we need to take advantage of it.”

So what direction will the C’s go in? Over the coming weeks, we’ll take a closer look at each of the possibilities to get a sense of what direction the team might be leaning.

Small-ball starting lineup
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

Potential positives

Shooting everywhere: Talk about an embarrassment of riches.