Javonte Green, Robert Williams, get starting nod in preseason opener

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

A surprise to the starting lineup to begin the preseason.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens had a surprise up his sleeve prior to the team’s preseason opener Tuesday versus the Philadelphia 76ers.

With the Celtics dealing with various injuries, Stevens is starting end-of-the-bench role player Javonte Green alongside Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams. Williams also was thrusted into the starting lineup with Tristan Thompson (right hamstring strain) and Daniel Theis (low back soreness) sitting out due to ailments.

Green was an interesting selection by Stevens as he could have given the nod to one of the more acclaimed rookies or second-year players on the roster. But Stevens plans to give all 13 players suiting up at least 10 minutes on the court.

“We’re going to rotate that spot,” said Stevens on his decision to start Greene as Stevens added he wants to see who can play best alongside Tatum and Brown.

Green played a very limited role in his first year with the Celtics last season. The athletic wing played in 48 games and averaged 9.8 minutes, 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Green, who made two starts a season ago, did put together a standout performance in the final regular season game in the bubble when he poured in 23 points.

The Celtics will also be without Kemba Walker (left knee strengthening) and Romeo Langford (right wrist surgery), opening up more playing time for Boston’s usual reserves.