Celtics Big Aiming To Earn ‘More Consistent’ Role With Boston

The Boston Celtics have flexibility in their front-court depth, which leaves Nemmias Queta rummaging for minutes off the bench, fresh off recovering from a hyperextended knee injury.

Queta, who joined the Celtics on a two-way contract before the preseason, gradually showed signs of playing a serviceable role in Boston’s reserve unit. When Luke Kornet missed eight games in December, Queta filled in, averaging 5.9 points on 56.7% shooting with 5.6 rebounds. That marked Queta’s most notable stretch with the Celtics, but now the 24-year-old wants a more stable role moving forward.

“I feel like I have taken more steps in being consistent in everything I do,” Queta said, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “For example, I think I’ve been doing a better job of making plays for others, setting more screens. I’ve been consistent getting more reps. I feel like it helps me in getting more established on the court and at the same time, I feel like I’m getting better with foul trouble even though I’ve still got room to grow. Still, that can go a long way, so I want to be able to get more consistent minutes and just be able to get a better feeling of what I can bring to the table.”

Since being sent to the G-League and getting healthy again, the circumstances in Boston have changed.

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Kornet is back to being the third-string center behind Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis plus the Celtics did acquire Xavier Tillman Sr. before February’s trade deadline — who has earned a bit of trust from Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla.

During Monday night’s 122-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Queta played in two of the fourth quarter’s closing minutes, shooting 1-for-2 with one rebound and one block. It was his first time back on an NBA floor since Feb. 14 and a step in the right direction with 18 games left in the campaign.

“It’s good to be back, I’m feeling good, just trying to get my wind back, get back up to speed,” Queta added, per Washburn. “It shouldn’t be an issue. I feel perfectly fine.”

With the playoffs quickly approaching, the Celtics can use all the depth they can get, which includes having Queta prepared. The 7-foot, 245-pound veteran could too use a breakout finish after having made more appearances with Boston thus far (24) than in two previous seasons (20) with the Sacramento Kings.

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