Jae Crowder and Al Horford have been key inactives for the Celtics since the start of the season as the rest of the Celtics tries to step up.
The Celtics came into this campaign with high expectations this season. Many experts believe that acquiring Horford was the huge addition to this lineup. Boston.com predicted that the Celtics would have the first 50-win season since 2011. With those expectations high, the Celtics are 6-5 with defeats to the Pelicans, Nuggets, and Wizards. Horford and Crowder have been out in those games. What's interesting is that the Celtics have gotten notable wins over the Pacers, Hornets, and Bulls, which is great news for the franchise.
Jaylen Brown has stepped up and played in Crowder's role with success. This season, he has averaged 7.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and just an assist.. which is not impressive. Brown is now used to playing in a starting role, and that puts a lot of pressure on a player, who just turned 320. However, Brown is a solid defensive player and has shown improvement. Brad Stevens has been impressed with his body of work and has let Brown played 17.5 minutes per game.
Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk have seen increased minutes since Horford has been out with a concussion. Zeller has played 18.3 of play and started four games, where he's averaging 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks. Olynyk, who is coming off the injury, has played in four games but has played 29.8 minutes per game. Olynyk has averaged 10.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Once Horford returns, the Celtics will have a deep center position and that was a struggle for them last year.
Crowder returns to practice today, but it's unknown if he will play tomorrow against the Warriors. Horford has been on the court, and he did that before last night's game against the Mavericks,
The Celtics will need Horford and Crowder back in action tomorrow against the Warriors if they want to be contenders