The Boston Celtics have had an excellent offseason and, with all of their new acquisitions, once again look poised to make a run at Banner 18.
With all of the players they have re-signed and the new players they have brought on board, the Celtics have incredible depth and more importantly, great lineup flexibility.
There are several deadly lineups the Celtics can and should use throughout the season.
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett
Once Avery Bradley is healthy again, the starting lineup that nearly brought the Celtics to the NBA Finals will be restored. The additions of Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger may threaten the starting lineup. But, at the end of the day, the Celtics should keep the starters from last year for continuity and experience to open every game.
Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox
This lineup is scary for two reasons. First, while they are in, the entire starting lineup will be resting and re-gaining energy. Second and most importantly, this lineup is supremely talented, especially for a bench.
Terry, Lee and Green will all average double-digit scoring off the bench while Chris Wilcox will play solid defense, rebound well and occasionally score. And while we can't be exactly sure the type of impact Sullinger will have as a rookie, we do know that he will at least be able to rebound and occasionally score.
This bench could probably hold their own with many starting lineups in the league and they will be asked to do exactly that while the starting five rests.
The two best defensive players on the Celtics
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, Jason Collins
This lineup could potentially see a few tweaks. Paul Pierce could play the small forward if Green isn't able to have the defensive impact he should. Also, Fab Melo could play center if he gets acclimated into the system soon enough.
As it is, though, this lineup is absolutely deadly on the defensive end. Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley—though undersized—are two of the best defensive guards in the league and routinely wreak havoc on opposing backcourts.
Then, from small forward to center, this lineup boasts a lot of size with Jeff Green at 6'9", KG at 6'11" and Jason Collins at 7'0". These bigger bodies will be able to protect the rim, that is, if any player can get to the hoop against this lineup.
Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Paul Pierce, Jared Sullinger, Kevin Garnett
All of these players just flat-out know how to score.
Jason Terry and Courtney Lee can both get open and hit the three like few other players. Paul Pierce can pick his spots and make the right move at the right time to free him up for jump shots he routinely hits. Jared Sullinger is crafty and patient enough in the post to score in big numbers. And Kevin Garnett has his reliable fadeaway jumper and mid-range jumper to pace his scoring.
All of these players are dangerous on the offensive end and can give opposing defenses fits.
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Fab Melo
Courtney Lee may not be a natural small forward but he has the size for it and will be asked to play it in this lineup. These five players will be able to get off and running like few other teams in the NBA.
Rondo and Bradley may be the two fastest guards in the NBA while Jeff Green could easily outrun every power forward and nearly all small forwards. Lee and Melo are athletic as well and will fit well into this lineup.
The only play this lineup will have is get the defensive rebound, outlet and run.
Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass
This squad may have trouble on the boards and occasionally the defensive end, but they will be able to cause problems on the offensive end.
Most power forwards aren't quick enough to stay with Jeff Green while most centers won't want to stray out to the perimeter with Brandon Bass. This lineup shouldn't be used often because it can be exploited, but when used at the right time, these five players can make a big impact.
Jeff Green is pivotal to both the small ball and the big lineup.
Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Kevin Garnett
When used at the right times, this lineup is scary. There is so much size and rebounding ability on the court that there is no way any team would stand a chance on the boards or scoring inside.
Sure, it's risky to play Pierce at shooting guard as he may not be quick enough, but it's worth a shot. And even if he isn't up for it, he could be replaced by the 6'5" Courtney Lee.
The Celtics might have had trouble rebounding the ball last year. But as long as they play this lineup next year, they won't have any problems.