These past three scrimmages not only allowed the players to shake off any rust that they had heading into the regular season, but it also gave teams a chance to see which players deserve more playing time moving forward. Teams like the Boston Celtics have used these games to experiment with different lineups and use players who haven’t had much playing time throughout the season.
Some players in Boston that got a chance to receive more playing time than usual include Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, Semi Ojeleye, and Javonte Green. There are only so many minutes to go around, so which players do you believe deserve the most playing time during the upcoming regular-season games?
Tremont Waters would be my pick out of all the players I just mentioned above. He’s a dynamic two-way guard that can make an impact off the bench with his quickness and superb playmaking skills. He won’t give you a ton of points off the bench, but he can lead the second unit as the floor general and get everybody else going. I’d like for him to eat into Brad Wanamaker’s playing time because I believe he’d make better use of those minutes. The G League Rookie of the Year will definitely be on the main roster next season, and now’s the time to give him valuable minutes that will benefit him moving forward.
Romeo Langford, like Waters, is a young two-way player that can become a threat off the Celtics bench. His defense is immaculate and is one of the better defenders on the team at just 20 years old. He’s shown flashes on the offensive end, but with more time and experience, he can be a reliable scorer coming off the bench. He scored nine points in each of his scrimmage games and was one of the best defenders on the floor against Phoenix. Like Tremont, it might be time to reward Langford with more playing time.
Carsen Edwards has had his opportunities to shine throughout the regular season but had a pretty underwhelming rookie year. He’s a player that can light it up from three but hasn’t shown that he can do it on a consistent basis. He dropped 19 points against Houston but shot 8-18 from the field and 3-10 from beyond the arc. The talent is there, but he needs to start being a reliable scorer consistently. Until he does that, a ton of minutes won’t come his way, unfortunately.
Semi Ojeleye has been around the Celtics organization since 2017 but has never evolved his game to the extent that fans hoped he would have by now. He’s a great defender and can be used in situations to guard an opposing team’s best player, like Giannis Antetokpunmpo, and is also shooting a career-high 37 percent from three this season. He’ll get his fair share of minutes during the regular season and playoffs, but he might not see the floor consistently. He might just be used for situations that I mentioned before and when the team needs more defense out of their lineup.
Javonte Green only played in 44 games this year and averages a little over nine minutes a game. He dropped 13 points off the bench in Boston’s last scrimmage against Houston and hit all three of his three-point attempts. If Green can become more than a highlight reel player who can just throw down crazy dunks, more playing time could come his way. If he starts shooting and hitting threes consistently, he can be a game-changer for the Celtics’ bench. He can turn into what Gerald Green was just a few years ago.
I hope to see Brad Stevens play around with his lineups a bit more during these eight seeding games, but these players I mentioned above could see an uptick in minutes to see who’s more deserving to come off the bench for the playoffs. Personally, I hope to see a lot more of both Tremont Waters and Romeo Langford moving forward, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
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