Joe Mazzulla to switch up Celtics starting lineup ahead of Game 3 against Heat

After two home losses to the Heat, the Celtics are going away from their "double bigs" starting lineup.

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives to the basket against Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) in the first half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series in Boston, Wednesday, May 17, 2023.
Derrick White is expected to return to Boston's starting lineup in Game 3. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

With the Celtics sitting on an 0-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals, Joe Mazzulla is reshuffling his starting lineup ahead of Sunday’s Game 3 showdown against the Miami Heat.

Mazzulla announced that Derrick White will replace Robert Williams in the starting lineup, with Boston abandoning its “double bigs” lineup.

Boston’s decision to roll out Williams and Al Horford in the same starting group arguably saved the Celtics’ season during their second-round matchup against the Sixers.

But the Heat present a new set of challenges, especially with Jimmy Butler capable of picking apart both big men with jump shots. Mazzulla has only utilized the “double bigs” grouping for 14 minutes over two games against the Heat, with the Celtics coach opting to roll with White alongside the rest of Boston’s starting group during the second half of Game 2.


White has been one of the few bright spots for the Celtics in this series. Along with sinking six of his 10 shots from 3-point range through two games, the All-Defensive team selection recorded a pair of blocks against Butler in Game 2 on Friday night at TD Garden.

Boston will keep Horford in the starting lineup on Sunday at Kayesa Arena, but the veteran big man is in desperate need of a bounce-back performance on offense.

After shooting a career-high 44.6% from 3-point range in the regular season, Horford is only connecting on 28.8% of his shots from deep so far during the postseason.


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