Three key questions Ime Udoka must answer about the Celtics rotation before opening night

Ime Udoka
Ime Udoka has a lot of work to do as Boston prepare for the new season. Photo from Sky Sports.

The Boston Celtics rotation 2021-22 looks settled right now. Even if the team has yet to be involved in any kind of preseason action and it’s still pretty early, the roster looks pretty much done.

Brad Stevens has shown that he won’t hesitate to make big moves and be more aggressive than his predecessor Danny Ainge. Then again, unless a star is up for grabs, we just don’t see the Celtics rotation going through many major changes.

The Boston Celtics offseason drew plenty of mixed reviews. Some criticized Stevens for giving up on Kemba Walker and trading for Al Horford again. Others were excited by Ime Udoka‘s hiring and believe he’s just what the team needed to turn the page.

Celtics rotation 2021-22

So, with that in mind, the Boston Celtics are a bit of a question mark for some analysts right now. Obviously, they’ll be a playoff team for as long as they have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But whether they’re ready to compete for an NBA Championship is yet to be seen.

Today, we’re going to take a deeper look into their roster and try to figure out the 3 key questions Ime Udoka may answer for the upcoming season.

3. Should Dennis Schroder come off the bench?

Dennis Schroder was one of the biggest additions of the Boston Celtics offseason. Not because he’s a superstar by any means but because they got him at a massive discount. Now, the question is whether he’ll be ok with embracing a role off the bench again, as he was looking to be a starter.

But, regardless of what Schroder wants, Udoka needs to figure out what’s better for the team. Marcus Smart has been pretty good playing big minutes off the bench. He’s improved as a playmaker and spot-up shooter, but he’s not much of an offensive factor.

The Celtics may need a little more spacing on the court in their first unit, and they don’t have many scoring threats off the bench. That’s why they’d be better off by letting Schroder run the offense off the bench and maybe contend for the Sixth Man of the Year award.


2. Is it time to unleash Romeo Langford?

For years, Celtics insiders have raved about Romeo Langford’s skillset. And, while the upside is clearly there, he didn’t have much of a chance to prove his worth during Brad Stevens’ tenure, mostly because of how crowded the rotation was.

The 21-year-old is entering his third season in the NBA and looked pretty good in limited playoff action last year. He’s versatile, can score from all three levels, and has all the tools to become a plus defender at the next level. Maybe it’s time he finally gets more run.

As we mentioned earlier, the Celtics lack a scorer off the bench, thus Langford could fill in that role. Aaron Nesmith will also be waiting in line to snatch as many minutes as he can handle. So, it could be now or never for Langford in Boston.

1. Embrace small-ball?

As good as the Boston Celtics offseason was, they didn’t address one of their biggest issues.

For years, the Celtics rotation has lacked a true interior presence and dominant big man, and that has hurt their chances in the playoffs. This year doesn’t seem like the exception to that rule.

Boston landed Moses Brown as a part of the Al Horford trade but then let him go. Enes Kanter is a solid scorer and rebounder but he gets murdered in the post and the pick and roll every single time. And Robert Williams is an outstanding rim protector but he just can’t stay healthy.

Maybe, the Celtics need to fully embrace small-ball once and for all. Play an up-tempo offense, make the most of mismatches, and even roll with some three-guard sets every now and then. Clearly, what they’ve been doing thus far wasn’t good enough.

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