March 4, 2024

Celtics

“I can say that confidently.”

Oshae Brissett throws down a dunk in opposition to the Magic on Friday. Maddie Meyer/Getty Pictures

When Brad Stevens reconfigured the Celtics roster this offseason, few doubted the potential of the beginning 5.

The bench, nevertheless, was a relative query mark exterior of Al Horford.

To this point this season, although, with some inevitable ups and downs, the second unit has largely thrived and helped the crew to an NBA-best 19-5 begin.

After the Celtics’ 128-111 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday – during which the Boston bench dropped 47 factors – Oshae Brissett backed up his crew. Brissett, whom the Celtics signed to a two-year deal in June, stated he doesn’t perceive why individuals would count on the Celtics to battle with their bigs out.

“I’ve by no means heard that, and anybody that’s saying that’s out of their thoughts,” Brissett stated.

After all Boston loses a few of its fortitude with Kristaps Porzingis and Horford sidelined, nevertheless it didn’t present Friday.

Lamar Stevens, who has solely performed in eight video games, earned the beginning and scored eight factors in 14 minutes.

Brissett added 11 on 4-of-4 capturing, Sam Hauser completed with 11 factors, seven rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, and Payton Pritchard stole the present with 21 factors on 6-of-7 capturing from downtown.

Neemias Queta additionally fared nicely and completed plus-13, and Svi Mykhailiuk noticed 5 minutes of motion.

Brissett stated it comes right down to the work the reserves put in, noting that guys like Horford, Pritchard, and Hauser may begin on any crew. He believes Boston’s bench is among the greatest within the league.

“I strongly consider our second unit is healthier than numerous groups’ first unit, and I can say that confidently,” Brissett stated.

After all, the reserves usually have the luxurious of enjoying alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, or one other All-Star caliber participant. On the identical time, Brissett brings up a sound level.

Horford contributed 14 and 10 in a win over the Knicks. Hauser added 9 in a win over the Cavaliers on Tuesday, and replicated that effort within the rematch Thursday. It varies whose evening it’s, however most of the time, a reserve rises to the event.

Pritchard is averaging 7 factors, 3.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and simply 0.2 turnovers in December. Hauser is capturing 43 p.c from 3-point vary this season, together with 58.6 p.c in December.

“Payton and Sam are assured, they’re enjoying nicely,” Brown stated. “We’ve obtained guys coming in, they haven’t performed in a month and contributing. It’s simply good power proper now.”

Coach Joe Mazzulla highlighted the professionalism of gamers like Brissett, who’re in a position to contribute at any time when they get the prospect.

“Oshae, we speak nearly day by day and I respect his maturity,” Mazzulla stated. “Thought he performed nice.”