NBA Spotlight: The New Look Boston Celtics

NBA Spotlight: The New Look Boston Celtics

Danny Ainge is on the verge of pulling off an unexpected trade, which would bring in point guard Kyrie Irving. Along with the additions of Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz and Marcus Morris via the Detroit Pistons, the Celtics look to enhance their offense. This added firepower should help the Celtics make a run at taking down Lebron James. We will take a look at the Xs and Os of Brad Stevens and the projected starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, and Al Horford.

Here is a short look of key stats, which I believe will blend well together. In particular, expect the assist numbers of Kyrie and Gordon to go up: (stats courtesy of

Kyrie: 40% (3pt), 50% (2pt), 6 (Ast), 90% (Ft)

Gordon: 40% (3pt), 51% (2pt), 3.5 (Ast), 84% (Ft)

Jaylen: 34% (3pt), 51% (2pt), 1 (Ast), 68% (Ft) Only 2 Fta’s per game

Morris: 33% (3pt), 47% (2pt), 2 (Ast), 78% (Ft)

Horford: 35% (3pt), 52% (2pt), 5 (Ast), 80% (Ft)

—–5 Out Delay Series
The Celtics boast a roster that features players with the ability to step out beyond the 3 point line as well as pass, dribble and shoot. They are one of the few NBA teams that use 5 Out spacing. Here are four main actions from Boston’s playbook that will create a lot of opportunities for Kyrie, and others, to attack and showcase their abilities. A lot of these actions involve a variation of their ballscreen motion which gets all five players cutting and screening while they attack with the pick and roll.

Reverse Motion (Main Action)


Reverse Fade


Reverse Stagger


Reverse Stagger Curl


—–4 Out Series
The next portion of the playbook involves three of Brad Stevens favorite sets. The key here is that it not only involves his best players in various screening actions but it also brings attention away from them before the ball finds them again in a scoring area.


• Indy Rip Flex


Slice Open


Post Back


The final series will showcase a couple of actions designed to get Kyrie and Gordon the ball with a live dribble as they attack on the run. Using your best players as screeners usually results in teammates being wide open or the defense over helping and getting a shot themselves.
• Twist 45


Flare Flex


—–Stack Pick And Roll (Spain)
This set is a staple of coach Stevens and the variations can be lethal with this group. For this example, imagine Gordon, Kyrie, and Al involved in a Spain pick and roll action. For more examples, take a look at our Spain Pick and Roll Article from a few weeks ago! Its a very difficult play to defend since guards have to help in an unfamiliar situation while the roll mans defender is being screened.


With these principles in place, I believe the Boston Celtics will become an even more efficient offensive team than they were this past season. With Kyrie and Gordon, surrounded by skilled and unselfish role players, it  has the makings of what can be one of the toughest matchups in the NBA. The variety of options at coach Brad Stevens disposal will be plentiful as well as keep coaches up late at night game planning.


That does it for NBA Spotlight: The Boston Celtics Offense! Feel free to contact me via twitter @KJ_the_scout, or via email at and see how this style can benefit your program!

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