Marcus Smart will not be in the starting lineup for the Celtics today, as Boston tries to stave off elimination at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Instead, Jae Crowder will start in his place. Why? It may have something to do with the fact that Smart overslept and was late to team shootaround on Sunday morning. That’s a no-no in the eyes of head coach Brad Stevens.
From ESPN Boston:
The Celtics shuffled their lineup for Game 4 of an Eastern Conference first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers by moving Jae Crowder into the starting lineup and rookie Marcus Smart to the bench.
It’s a move that the team decided on Saturday when it practiced with Crowder in a starter’s role, but it might have occurred anyhow because Smart was tardy to the team’s shootaround on Sunday morning when he overslept.
“Jae Crowder for Marcus Smart. I decided that [Saturday], just because Jae has been very good in this series,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “We could have gone a couple of different directions with that, but obviously it’s just five more minutes where you’re matched up a little bit more traditionally with [the Cavaliers]. Again, I don’t think it’s an exact science, because our starts have been reasonable. But that’s the decision we made.”
When revealing Smart’s tardiness, Stevens added, “Marcus may not play early with [the second unit], I don’t know what we’re going to do. Marcus was, and I told him I’d share this with you, Marcus was late for shootaround because he overslept. We’ve been there before and, as I told Marcus, I’m not worried about him at all. This is not a big Marcus thing. And Jae Crowder would have started anyways.”
During the regular season, Jared Sullinger was tardy for two shootarounds. Each time he was removed from the starting lineup. The second time, he sat out the entire first quarter.