For the contest, head coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to roll out the same lineup he did in Game 6, with Robert Williams III inserted back into the starting five and Derrick White relegated back to the second unit.
Though for some, losing a starting position may be a hard thing to accept, when asked about the shakeup, White noted that he was completely fine with the decision made by his head coach.
“I was all for it,” Derrick White said, as per The Athletic’s Jay King. “I’ve always been that it’s all about the team. It’s not about me.”
Through the first 11 games of this postseason, Derrick White has regularly served as the starting two-guard for the Celtics, where he saw himself posting impressive averages of 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and just shy of a block while shooting 50.9% from the field and 41.1% from deep.
However, such a lineup saw Boston fall to a 3-2 series deficit against the Sixers and, as a result, Joe Mazzulla opted to alter the rotation by re-inserting franchise pivot Robert Williams back into the first five unit for Game 6, which, in turn, sent White back to the bench.
Said alteration proved to be successful in their do-or-die contest, as they pulled out a hard-fought 95-86 win to force one more game for this coming Sunday.
It appears the headman is looking to roll the dice on this rotation at least one more time with their season on the line, and their 28-year-old guard seems to be completely fine with it.
Marcus Smart Praises Celtics Adjustments
Derrick White wasn’t the only one to speak out about Joe Mazzulla’s rotational adjustments in Game 6, as Marcus Smart praised his head coach during his post-game media session for his decision to re-insert Robert Williams back into the starting lineup.
“I was ecstatic about it,” Smart said. “To be able to have Rob in there; he changes the game a lot. Being able to have a lob threat, a rim threat, to be able to protect the rim on the other end. He’s huge for us. And I was proud to have him on the court. And, that just goes to show, you know, Joe’s learning. Just like all of us. I know he’s been killed a lot – rightfully so. He needs to make some adjustments, and he did that, and that’s just all you can ask for; just continue to be the best that he can be. And it takes a full team effort.”
While the team as a whole played a well-rounded 48 minutes of action, Smart proved to be one of Boston’s top contributors during their Game 6 victory, as he posted 22 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals while shooting 53.3% from the field and 37.5% from deep.
Jaylen Brown Wants Celtics Fans to Show Out in Game 7
The benefit of owning homecourt advantage in a playoff series is having the ability to be energized by what is hoped to be a loud and proud crowd in attendance. However, up to this point, Boston’s All-NBA wing Jaylen Brown has been underwhelmed by the TD Garden’s energy level.
He stated in Game 6’s post-game media session that he hopes to see a different vibe from the crowd in their pivotal Game 7.
“I’m hoping that it’s gonna be loud, and it’s gonna be rocking,” Brown said. “Celtics fans, y’all love to call us out, right? So, I’m gonna call you guys out this time. The energy at the Garden has been OK, at best, all playoffs…I need you to be up, I need you to come with the energy because we gonna need every bit of it.”
Jaylen Brown would continue on by praising the potential that Game 7 could have from a fan perspective, stating that “when the Garden gets going there’s nothing like it.”