Celtics coach Brad Stevens has no plans to limit any of his available players vs. Magic
The Boston Celtics took a one-game lead over the Indiana Pacers for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings with their win over the Pacers on Friday night, and Brad Stevens says it is full steam ahead until the playoffs.
Stevens told NBC Boston’s Chris Forsberg that there will be no limitations on any of his players with the Celtics still looking to get home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs:
Brad Stevens says C’s won’t load management guys vs. Magic.
"Anybody's that available, we’re going to play normal. Obviously, we don’t have anything sewn up from the seedings standpoint yet so our plan of attack is to be the best that we can be tonight and we’ll go from there."
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) April 7, 2019
The Celtics are hoping Jaylen Brown will return to the lineup for Sunday’s game against a Magic team trying to earn a playoff spot, but even if he’s not, the regulars will play their regular minutes.
The Celtics were a popular pick to win the Eastern Conference this season with the return of a healthy Kyrie Irving and a full season from Gordon Hayward, but they have been subject to internal strife all season, and Jayson Tatum has not made the kind of leap that was expected of him.
Still, Boston has shown the scope of its capabilities with blowout wins over the likes of the Warriors as well as the recent win over Indiana.
Irving is in the midst of arguably his finest season yet, averaging career highs in assists and rebounds while shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc. But he has also had to play a lot of “hero ball” for the Celtics, which has yielded mixed results throughout the season.
While Stevens will need Kyrie at his very best in the playoffs, much of Boston’s success may be more reliant on Hayward. The Celtics are almost unbeatable when he scores at least 20 points, as evidenced by the win over Indiana when Hayward was 9-of-9 from the field and poured in 21 points.