With Both Of Kyrie Irving's Eyes Messed Up, Brad Has Some Decisions To Make

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 1.11.31 PM

2019 is off to some start! Deep down I had a feeling this was going to be the case, I mean Belinelli jacked his shit up pretty good, and once we saw him go back to the locker room you knew it wasn’t going to be great. I don’t think we expected BOTH of Kyrie’s eyes to be messed up but that’s the reality right now. To hear Brad talk about how this is probably going to be an extended recovery, that’s a pretty big blow considering Kyrie is basically carrying this team on his shoulders.

It was a freak accident, and I won’t get on Kyrie for getting hurt by showing effort. That shit happens. But we now turn to Brad Stevens and his tough choice as to what to do now. Common sense says he’ll probably start Terry, that’s what he’s here for as Kyrie insurance, so let’s see how that’s looked so far this year. Terry has started 2 games this season, played 68 starter minutes and has 16/6.5/4.0 averages on 50/50% splits. Obviously a small sample size, but certainly better than his reserve numbers. As we know he did a great job filling in last season in Kyrie’s absence, so chances are we’re about to get the best version of Terry which is important because he’s been uhhh….iffy at best as of late

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 1.23.24 PM

So how does he look with what would be the current starting lineup of Terry/Smart/Tatum/Morris/Horford? It’s anyone’s guess really. We don’t have a lot of data of that grouping together. They’ve played just 26 minutes together, are getting outscored by opponents to the tune of -9.8 points, with a 72.6 Ortg. That doesn’t exactly blow your dick off. Maybe Brad is willing to roll the dice given the small sample size and the success Terry had last year, but it’s no slam dunk that you can just slide Terry into this current starting group and be a well oiled machine. There are flaws there.

So what else could Brad do? Well, if we’re looking at what Kyrie-less lineups have had some success, he has a couple options. For example, what if they let Marcus Smart be the traditional facilitating point guard, and start Jaylen at the SG spot? He’s shown some progress over the last few games, and I think he could benefit from playing on a unit where he doesn’t have to be a main offensive option. This now gives Hayward more freedom to eat with the second unit, you put Terry off ball with that group and you tell Gordon to run things. Honestly, I think this is where I’m leaning at the moment. You give Jaylen a chance to do what they need him to do in terms of defend and play in transition, and you give Gordon a huge lift in usage with the second unit, which I think he needs as well.

I would say you could do the same with Hayward, but I don’t think that would be the best idea. I want Hayward to have as much usage as possible as he tries to figure out how to be a real NBA player, and right now sticking him with Morris/Tatum on a night where everyone is going to try and shoot more to pick up the slack for Kyrie I think is counterproductive. He played great off the bench against MIN a few weeks ago, so I leave that how it is.

The reality is, Terry will probably start and that can be a positive because if he thrives in that role for a few weeks, well that would pretty much save his trade value that has taken a beating this season if Danny wants to entertain moving him next month. We all know what starting for this team did for Terry’s value last year, and if this is what has to happen to keep him happy, then it’s almost worth the negatives. The ball movement might suffer, no roll man will ever be hit in P&R, but if his attitude improves and maybe Ainge gets some bites come the trade deadline for something that could help, well that’s a positive.

With how up and down this team as been over the last few weeks this obviously isn’t an idea situation. This team needs consistency above all else, and losing one of their best player for an extended time only adds to the great amount of pressure this team already has to figure things out. My heart says give Jaylen the start, but my head says we’re about to get a whole lot more Terry. Only time will tell if we get Scary Terry 2.0, or just more of a guy who is having a pretty brutal season so far.

So if you were Brad, what adjustment would you make?


Are we sure we can’t just give Kyrie Rondo’s old shades and just call it a day? Even if his vision is only at like 85%, that’s still better than the alternative at the moment.