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Robb: Sorting Through The Celtics' Early-Season Rotation

BOSTON (CBS) -- One game into the 2013-14 Celtics season, Brad Stevens' rotation is beginning to take shape. Faced with the challenge of managing a talented depth chart yet again this year, the head coach appears confident going with the 10 players that saw minutes in a blowout opener against the Brooklyn Nets.

"I think, at least in that first game, I felt like the 10 guys that did play were probably more of the ready rotation at that time," Stevens acknowledged.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the players who did (and didn't) make the rotation cut and what it could mean for the those guys moving forward.

Bench guards in rotation: Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton
Outside looking in: Phil Pressey
Overview: This decision shouldn't come as much of a surprise. With Rajon Rondo back in the fold there aren't going to be many minutes to be had by Smart and Thornton in stints off the bench, especially when the Celtics face big teams. Pressey is stuck as the third point guard for now, which is probably the spot he deserves to be in at this point in his career. Stevens may dust him off once in a while as a change of pace when Smart is struggling, but for the most part, Pressey will remain in waiting until someone gets hurt or traded.

Bench wings in rotation: Evan Turner
Outside looking in: Gerald Wallace, James Young
Overview: This spot is where some of Stevens' toughest personnel decisions must be made. Wallace is a veteran making over $10 million this year, but at this stage of his career, he's simply not better than either Turner or Jeff Green. With no real hope of inflating his trade value to get his lofty contract off the books, Wallace has been wisely left on the bench to start the season, even though he's still useful on the defensive end. I would expect him to see spot minutes as the season progresses. The same goes for rookie Young, who fell behind in training camp after straining his hamstring. If Turner continues to excel, look for Young to get some regular reps in the D-League with the Red Claws when they start their season in mid-November.

Bench bigs in rotation: Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller
Outside looking in: Dwight Powell, Vitor Faverani (injured)
Overview: Until Faverani returns from a knee injury, this situation won't be changing much at all. Powell is at the very bottom of the crowded depth chart as a rookie that was drafted in the second round. The team likes his potential, but there are no minutes available for him right now, and, even if there were, he's not NBA-ready just yet. In order to continue his development, I expect him to spend the majority of his season with the Maine Red Claws, where he can see regular minutes in the frontcourt. As for Faverani, he's reportedly set to return sometime in December, but he has a long way to go to try to unseat Zeller for some backup minutes at the five spot.

In spite of the crowded numbers, Stevens had been adamant with guys like Pressey and Wallace that their playing time could come at any moment.

Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.


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