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Celtics’ Semi Ojeleye reacts to improvement as a player without getting more minutes

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Semi Ojeleye may not be the highest-profile member of the Boston Celtics, but his gritty nature of work on the defensive end has made him a fan favorite in Beantown.

Ojeleye actually saw a decrease in minutes in his sophomore season, but he was more assertive in his time on the floor and was not afraid to expand his range on the perimeter.

The former SMU product told Jay King of The Athletic that he appreciates those that have recognized individual improvements in his game, but also stated that this year will serve as a proving ground:

“It was good that my improvement was even noticed at all,” Ojeleye said Tuesday at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, where the Celtics unveiled a new pre-teen lounge. “Or that I even was able to improve at all. So I understand it’s a process and you have to wait your turn. And hopefully the time is now.”

“I don’t know if (the power forward spot is) for me,” Ojeleye said. “I think we’re all just going to kind of see who fits with what lineup and depending on what game. So I mean we’re all competing to see what lineup fits us and how we can be the best on the court together.”

Ojeleye will once again have to deal with a crowd of Celtics wing players that includes Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and now Romeo Langford. However, Brad Stevens has repeatedly praised Ojeleye, and he likely will look for more opportunities to give him extended runs this season.