Starter: Avery Bradley
Rotoworld has Avery Bradley listed as backup point guard, but Bradley, who has started at the 2 alongside Rondo for most of his career, is much better suited working off the ball as a shooting guard than he is running the offense.
Returning from shoulder surgery, Bradley averaged 9.2 points, 2.2 boards and 2.1 assists, but shot just 40.2 percent from the floor and posted a dismal PER of 8.89.
At 6’2”, Bradley has the frame of a point guard, but his outside shot and overall offensive game still need work. Bradley is decent from mid-range, but struggles from three and has difficulty finishing in the paint at times.
The Celtics need a secondary ball-handler in the starting lineup now that Pierce is gone, and Bradley has shown he can bring the ball up the court for stretches. He and Rondo have also shown great chemistry at times with Bradley slashing without the ball.
Beyond just his offensive contributions, Bradley’s defense is simply too good to waste on bench scorers, ensuring he will once again be the C’s starting 2.
Main Reserve: Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee had a turbulent first season with Boston, as he struggled with Doc Rivers’ system, but with Brad Stevens at the helm he’ll have another opportunity to prove his worth.
The 27-year-old guard has put together strong seasons with the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets, but averaged just 7.8 points, 2.4 boards and 1.8 assists with the Celtics.
Although he was miscast as a ball-handler last season, Lee brings value as a versatile “three-and-D” wing who can space the floor and knock down shots while also playing tight perimeter defense.
With three years and nearly $16.4 million remaining on his contract the Celts will likely look to deal Lee at some point in the near future, but for now he is the team’s most complete 2-guard and will play significant minutes to start the 2013-14 season.
Additional Depth: Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks
Boston brought in Jordan Crawford at the 2013 trade deadline to provide the team with a much-needed perimeter scoring presence. Though Crawford takes some stunningly bad shots, he has proven in his short career that he can put up points if given enough minutes.
With Boston, Crawford averaged 9.1 points, 2.7 boards and 2.5 assists but shot just 41.5 percent from the field.
Though he is an inefficient volume shooter, Crawford is one of Boston’s few players who can create his own shot, and for that reason he will see the floor.
Of the pieces Boston acquired in the Garnett-Pierce blockbuster trade, MarShon Brooks is the only one who might have a legitimate future with the C’s.
A first-round pick of Boston’s back in 2011, Brooks was buried behind Joe Johnson last season but averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a rookie on 42.8 percent shooting and 31.3 percent from three.
Brooks is a mediocre defender and an inconsistent three-point shooter, but he is capable of attacking the basket and scoring with the ball in his hands.
The third-year scorer might not be a key part of the team’s rotation early on, but he should find a role with the Celtics eventually.