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Celtics should start Enes Kanter instead of bringing him off the bench

Celtics should start Enes Kanter instead of bringing him off the bench

The Boston Celtics had a mass exodus in their frontcourt this offseason, as they saw Al Horford and Marcus Morris walk via free agency and traded Aron Baynes.

To address their ailing frontcourt, the Celtics re-signed Daniel Theis and signed Vincent Poirier, adding them to an incredibly young and inexperienced group that also included second-year big Robert Williams and rookie forward Grant Williams.

But Boston knew that wouldn’t be enough, as the club also signed Enes Kanter.

According to Jay King of The Athletic, head coach Brad Stevens is debating whether or not he will start Kanter or bring him off the bench.

Hopefully, Stevens goes with the former. Stevens did go with Robert Williams in the preseason opener, though Kanter got double the playing time.

While Kanter certainly has his flaws (he doesn’t space the floor and is a horrific defender), he is, by far, the most experienced big man on the Celtics’ roster. At the very least, he is a double-double threat night in and night out.

Due to his defensive deficiencies, Kanter is not a guy you want playing 30 minutes per game, so fellow bigs like Theis and Robert Williams will get significant playing time anyway. But Kanter should see the bulk of it, at least until Williams proves he is ready to handle a larger role.

I understand the idea of bringing Kanter’s offense off the bench, especially considering the once-deep Celtics have a dearth of offensive talent of their pine. But, again, it’s more important to start off with the readiness that Kanter brings.

Of course, Stevens can always adjust as the season progresses. If he doesn’t like what he sees from Kanter early on, he can always make a change. Keep in mind that Boston has until February to trade for another big to beef up its interior.

For now, the wisest thing for Stevens to do would be to roll with Enes Kanter in his starting five, which would give the Celtics a pretty impressive starting lineup that will also likely include Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.