Boston Celtics: Rotation Players by the Numbers
Sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 42-20 is the Boston Celtics. Between Jayson Tatum‘s emergence as a superstar, Kemba Walker‘s team-first approach, Jaylen Brown‘s athleticism, and Marcus Smart‘s defense, they have put themselves on the shortlist of teams in contention to win the NBA Finals. Outside of the top six players, also including Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis, the depth of this team could be Boston’s downfall come playoff time.
Boston Celtics: Rotation Players by the Numbers
Brad Wanamaker – 19.3 Minutes Per Game
30-year-old Brad Wanamaker entered the NBA last season when the Celtics signed him to a one year deal. Barely cracking the rotation in the 2018-19 season, averaging 9.5 minutes in only 36 games, Wanamaker has seen a massive increase in usage this season.
So far this season, Wanamaker leads the Celtics in games played at 62. He is also up to 19.3 minutes per game, which should mean he is a good contributor to the team. Unfortunately, his stats tell the true story, averaging 6.6 points, 2.5 assists, and 2 rebounds per game. He is relatively efficient, shooting the ball at 42.7 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from deep. He is also hitting his free throws at 92.9 percent – a team-high.
When it comes to Wanamaker, the Celtics should look elsewhere. With young prospects such as Carson Edwards and Romeo Langford wasting away on the bench, it may be time to make a change and decrease Wanamaker’s minutes.
Enes Kanter – 17.5 Minutes Per Game
In his first season with the Celtics, the 27-year-old big man tends to get mixed reactions from the fans. The Celtics signed Kanter in the summer prior to this season to a two-year, $10 million contract to fill the hole that was left in the roster after Al Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kanter, averaging 21.9 minutes per game throughout his career, accepted a much smaller role with the Celtics at only 17.5 minutes. Playing in 49 games so far this season, he is averaging 8.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1 assist per game, all being near his career-low. He is definitely a player built to play a certain role, sitting in the paint and get second-chance points, which he does well.
A gaping hole in Kanter’s game is his ability to play defense. He is currently allowing whoever he is guarding to shoot the ball at an effective 48.4 percent. The Celtics should look to take some of Kanter’s minutes and give them to the more defensive-minded Robert Williams.
Grant Williams – 15.9 Minutes Per Game
In his rookie season, Grant Williams is trusted with a good amount of minutes, especially since Boston is a contending team. In his 15.9 minutes on the court, Williams’ numbers tell a story of a player that doesn’t do much. Averaging 3.6 points on 41.7 percent shooting, 2.7 rebounds, and an assist per game, the numbers definitely don’t defend Williams’ play. He has played in the second-most games this season at 61 – only one behind Wanamaker.
With his usage rate being 11.5 percent, Williams doesn’t get much of a chance to contribute. Shooting only 3 shots per game, the Celtics rely more on their main stars to score. In his final season in college at Tennessee, Williams had a usage rate of 26.4 percent. The higher usage rate allowed him to average 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. He earned the SEC Player of the Year award.
If the opportunity arises, the Celtics should find a way to incorporate Williams more.
Semi Ojeleye – 14.5 Minutes Per Game
In his third year in the league, 25-year-old Semi Ojeleye is a big question mark. To put it lightly, Ojeleye is one of the players that make you question if he just ran around the court and never touched the ball. With a usage rate of 8.7 percent, it doesn’t make much sense why he gets the number of minutes he does.
So far this season, Ojeleye is averaging 3.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting and 2 rebounds per game. While his 6-foot-6, 235-pound body is appealing as a defender, it is time to move on from the Ojeleye experiment.
Robert Williams – 14.0 Minutes Per Game
Only playing in 23 games so far this season due to injury, Williams has the potential to be something special. The defensive-minded big man has the ability to make crazy blocks and game-sealing rebounds when given the chance.
Although injuries have kept him off of the court for most of the season, Williams can prove to be a valuable asset come playoff time. In his 14 minutes per game, he is averaging 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 points, 1.2 blocks, 1.0 assists, and just shy of 1 steal per game. He is also shooting the ball at 67.7 percent. When he is on the floor, his defensive rebound percentage (his chance to get a defensive rebound when on the floor) is a whopping 24.3 percent.
With health and maturity, Williams could really bring something special to the Boston Celtics.
The Depths of the Bench
Romeo Langford, a rookie, hasn’t really had the chance to show what he can do. Only playing 26 games, this 20-year-old may have a bright future ahead of him. Having a remarkable college career, it’s a mystery as to why a player like Semi Ojeleye is given more minutes on the court.
Javonte Green, a 26-year-old free agent signing, was definitely a nice surprise this season. His athleticism and speed make him a fun player to watch, especially when he lands a showstopping dunk. Green has been a solid role player this season, and for the price, he is worth keeping around.
Carsen Edwards, a rookie from Purdue, has also been another exciting prospect that has been wasted on the bench. In 21 games, playing in about 9 minutes each game, he hasn’t had the chance to show off his shooting ability. In his final season with Purdue, Edwards averaged 24.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He shot the ball at 39.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from deep.
Tremont Waters, Vincent Poirier, and Tacko Fall have spent most of this season with the Boston Celtics’ G-League team, the Maine Red Claws. While Waters and Fall are exciting prospects, the 26-year-old Poirier is just another wasted roster spot.
In the coming offseason, the Boston Celtics definitely need to make some adjustments to their bench, especially considering their history of injuries.