The Celtics make interesting roster changes for Game 6 vs. the Sixers
Mazzulla explains the Celtics’ interesting lineup changes for Game 6 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Do you want adjustments? Joe Mazzulla gives you adjustments.
The Boston Celtics plan to start Robert Williams instead of Derrick White for her must-win game 6 in Philadelphia against that 76er This was confirmed by Mazzulla on Thursday evening in his pre-game press conference. Jared Weiss and Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported on the cast change.
Tomase: With the season on the line, the Celtics need Joe Mazzulla to deliver
That means the Celtics will return to the “double big” lineup they deployed during their run to the 2022 NBA Finals, with Williams and Al Horford in the front yard along with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown And Jayson Tatum.
“Just gives us a different look,” Mazzulla told reporters ahead of Game 6. “I think Rob gives us a boost when we’re at our best, especially defensively. So I just look for it.”
“…Just his presence on the sidelines, his ability to defend on the touchline, rebound and shield for us, I think he’s been really good at those things all year and that’s what we’re talking about tonight expect him.”
Boston had great success with the Williams/Horford pairing during the regular season, but the duo struggled during their short stint on the court in the series, our Chris Forsberg notes.
Still, the double-big lineup would allow Williams to keep up with the Sixers forward PJ Tucker and act more as a shot-blocking rover on defense while Horford tries to contain him Joel Embid and Brown agrees James Harden.
In another interesting development, Weiss and Charania report on this backup guardian Payton Pritchard is “expected to get more opportunities” in Game 6. Pritchard’s first minutes of the series came in Game 5, when he scored eight points in nine minutes of the second half while the Celtics were already two figures behind.
Whether these changes will pay off for Boston remains to be seen, but it sounds like Mazzulla is trying to push other buttons while his team’s backs are against the wall.
NBC sports BostonGame 6 coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live before kicking off at 7:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.