Like no different from previous years, the four remains the Achilles heel for the Boston Celtics.
Their primary option will be Marcus Morris, who was the main piece the Celtics acquired from the Detroit Pistons for shooting guard Avery Bradley. Rebounding, shot blocking and an overall presence in the paint will undoubtedly be important points to address, and hopefully we can see an improvement in upcoming affairs.
Starter: Marcus Morris / Projection: 11.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, 26.2 PER
Marcus Morris’ play has steadily increased throughout his time in the NBA, from his rookie year in Houston where he received 7.4 minutes per game and averaged just 2.4 points, to last year in Detroit when he became an important piece to the puzzle for head coach Stan Van Gundy, starting all 79 games he played in during the regular season. In addition, the 6-foot-9 dual-forward netted a respectable 14.0 points per game.
With a change of scenery from the Pistons where star center Andre Drummond can secure 14 rebounds on any given night, Morris should be able to grab a career-high 6.1 rebounds, especially with no other threat in that category playing alongside him.
Backup: Semi Ojeleye / Projection: 4.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 10.5 PER
Brad Stevens and company have no shortage of young talent that demands development, and Semi Ojeleye being no different. The 37th pick in the second round of the most recent draft could garner significant minutes due to the lack of talent at the power forward spot. However, with the concept of position-less basketball seemingly becoming more and more prominent in Stevens’ system, that is somewhat unlikely.
Third off the bench: Guerschon Yabusele / Projection: 2.0 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 4.2 PER
After being the 16th overall pick for Boston in the 2016 NBA Draft, the French native spent 43 games in China playing with the Shanghai Sharks and was then moved to the G League, where he was featured in seven games for the Maine Red Claws.
Hopefully for Boston, Guerschon Yabusele (have fun pronouncing that one, Mike and Tommy), will be able to see significant progression in the coming years and put an end to the Celtics’ rebounding woes.