I think we can all agree that Boston has a starting lineup that can compete with the best of the best in the NBA. The biggest issue with the Boston Celtics is their bench and their lack of scoring and depth. Some people may say that the Celtics lack big men, but I genuinely believe Robert Williams will fill that hole off the bench.
I’ve said for a long time now that the Celtics are one piece away from being legitimate championship contenders. They’re not one superstar away from winning a title, they’re one solid bench player away from winning a title. I’ve written an article discussing some free agent targets for Boston that can give the bench a must-needed boost next season.
I thought it would be fun to think about some former Boston players that the Celtics would love to add back to their team right now for their upcoming playoff run. Boston has had some fan favorites and hidden gems in the past that I think would help the team right now.
Marcus Morris was only wearing Celtics green for two seasons, but he had some great moments during his time in Boston. He’s hit multiple game-winners and kept his reputation as being one of the toughest players in the league. His toughness, willingness to stand up for his teammates, and leaving it all out on the court is what made him so well-liked in Boston.
In his two years in Boston, he averaged nearly 14 points per game and shot 37 percent from behind the arc. He was a player that would both start and come off the bench, depending on what the team needed. He provided a spark to whichever lineup he was in and gave the team buckets when they needed them. His presence on the team is sorely missed and would be welcomed back in a heartbeat.
Shane Larkin was the ultimate spark plug off the bench for Boston. The 5’11 guard was never the type of player to come in and drop a crazy amount of points, he would just go in and do whatever he had to do. He only played around 14 minutes a night and was a third-string point guard for the team, but he would always show up and make an impact whenever he stepped on the court.
You had to know Aron Baynes was going to be on this list. Baynes was one of the biggest fan favorites in Boston, and it was one of the saddest days when he got traded to Phoenix. We all know it had to happen to bring Kemba Walker along, but Baynes would’ve been so beneficial to this team.
Brad Stevens made Aron Baynes comfortable shooting three-pointers. In his second season in Boston, he was shooting 1.2 threes a game, and before then, the most he’s shot in a season was 0.3 attempts, which was during his first season in Boston. Sometimes his shot selection caused fans to scratch their heads and wonder why the hell he was shooting the shots he was, but now he’s become a consistent three-point shooter. During the regular season in Phoenix, he was shooting a career-high four threes a night and shot 35 percent from three. That’s an improvement if I’ve ever heard of one.
But besides his improved three-point jumper, Baynes is a hard-nosed player who lays his body out and brings an attitude and toughness that is nearly unmatched. He would’ve been the perfect backup center to Daniel Theis, or even the ideal starting center for Boston. He does a little bit of everything and fit into the Boston system so well. I know I speak for many, many Celtics fans when I say I’d love to see a Baynes to Boston reunion in the future.
During his second stint in Boston in 2016/2017, Gerald Green didn’t do much during the regular season. He only played 47 games and averaged a little over 11 minutes a night. It wasn’t until the playoffs of that year when Gerald Green showed up and gave Boston a spark that they needed at the time.
After going down 2-0 against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, Brad Stevens decided to shake it up and throw Gerald Green into the starting lineup. After an eight-point performance in Game 3 (which resulted in a win), Green would go on to drop 18 points in Game 4 and 16 points in a series-clinching Game 6 victory. After that, he continued to be a vital part of the rotation and averaged 7.5 points while shooting 47 percent from the field and nearly 47 percent from three. Is there a player on the Celtics bench that could do the same during this playoff run? We’ll have to wait and see, but it was pretty sweet watching Gerald Green come in and help the team as much as he did at that time.
Those are four players that I believe could come in and make an impact for this Boston team during their upcoming playoff run. Although it can’t happen this year, maybe we’ll see one or two of these guys make a return to Boston in the near future.
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