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Brad Stevens discusses the tough battle for starting spots on the Celtics roster

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The Celtics enter the 2018/19 season with a near embarrassment of riches in terms of their roster depth, and Brad Stevens knows it. 

The impressive young head coach will have arguably the deepest roster in the league this year, and though they lack the star power of the Warriors, you'd be hard pressed to name a better roster from top to bottom than the one Danny Ainge has compiled in Boston. 

The young Celtics fell to LeBron James and the Cavs in seven games in a compelling Eastern Conference Finals last season, but that was without their two best players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. 

So one is easily forgiven for presuming they'd go one step further this time around especially with the King taking his talents to the West. 

They'll face a tough challenge from the Sixers and the Raptors, but their biggest challenge may come from within as coach Stevens attempts to balance the minutes and roles of so many starting calibre players. 

With Hayward and Irving out for long stretches last season, the Celtics' young talent really stepped up and made their own case for starting roles. 

Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown shone in big moments and will be hungry for even more minutes this season. It becomes a tough balancing act for Stevens, especially considering some of the veterans in the rotation that could also start elsewhere will be desperate for game time. 

Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart will all be seeking bigger roles too, so the balancing act won't be easy. 

The former Butler head coach knows that this team is built to get through things like that though, largely due to their team spirit and the winning mentality that exists in the building. 

"I think all of our guys realize that we have a really good thing going." Stevens told Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix.

"Part of being on a team is all being understanding that there’s nothing like experiencing winning together.

"For me, it’s more about, we have a unique thing, and I think we all have to recognize that. The starting thing, the finishing and everything else – we’re going to have different lineups out there, and everybody’s going to get an opportunity and lots of opportunities to make an impact." he added. 

"We’ll just do it like we’ve always done it. Marcus Smart has come off the bench for two years, and I’ve never considered Marcus Smart to be a non-starter. I just think that you – we’re fortunate enough on our team that we’ve got eight, nine, maybe 10 guys that are starters. So, we’ll figure that out as the time comes.

"But you only get so many chances to be part of a special group. And we’re pretty fortunate to be in this position. We need to take advantage of it." Stevens said. 

It's certainly a unique challenge to face, but it's by no mean a bad one and it's without a doubt one that almost every coach in the league would love to have. 

Topics:
Brad Stevens
Jayson Tatum
Jaylen Brown
Marcus Morris
Aron Baynes
Gordon Hayward
Kawhi Leonard
Kyrie Irving
Marcus Smart
Terry Rozier
Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors
Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics
LeBron James
NBA

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