Brad Stevens makes lineup change for the better in Game 1 win


MILWAUKEE -- Brad Stevens has been coy about the Boston Celtics’ starting five for Sunday’s Game 1 tilt against the Milwaukee Bucks, keeping his intentions as close to the vest as possible. 

Despite the success of the double-big lineup that included Aron Baynes playing with Al Horford, Stevens opted to shake things up by inserting Marcus Morris in for Baynes. 

And as we saw in Boston’s Game 1 beating of the Milwaukee Bucks, Stevens’ lineup change was indeed a change for the better. 

“Marcus’ size and his skill and his ability to play in a smaller fashion made the most sense,” Stevens said. “Also, I wanted to keep Gordon (Hayward) coming off so he could play through some of his actions when those other guys went to the bench. So, we will see how it looks when we got back and look at it on film, but obviously I thought it was good.”

So did Morris, who said he had been working with the first unit ever since the Celtics swept the Pacers. 

“I really didn’t think anything changed,” Morris said. “We’ve been doing that every time we play together. Somebody has to make adjustments.”

And that somebody was Stevens whose use of a smaller lineup gave the Bucks fits throughout most of Game 1. 

Morris had nine points on 4-for-6 shooting and seven rebounds to go along with three blocked shots.

But more than the scoring and rebounding, he provided a presence that the Celtics have consistently said they have in some fashion to be successful. 

“He obviously adds spacing,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving. “But, there’s still a toughness that he and Baynes bring. Obviously, (Marcus) Smart is not here. So, throwing either one of them in their works for us. We're going to make it work, especially when we want to go at specific matchups. I think it worked to our advantage.”

But as successful as that particular lineup might have been, the Celtics know they are in no position to get too comfortable and must stay hungry even with a 1-0 series lead and with that, home court advantage. 

“It’s not enough; it’s not enough,” Morris said. “It’s a win and we accept it but it’s not enough.”

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