Wednesday, March 14 – Wizards at Celtics
Pregame – C’s to Face Wizards with Extremely Depleted Roster
The injury bug has taken up residence in Boston, and it has bitten the Celtics hard. Six players, who were all active last week, are now on Boston’s injury report, meaning the C’s will have an extremely depleted roster tonight when they host the Washington Wizards at TD Garden.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens went through the lengthy report shortly ahead of tip-off, delivering some good and bad news regarding his recently-injured players:
Jaylen Brown – Concussion: “Jaylen is great, as far as he’s progressing in the right direction. He still hasn’t started any progression from the concussion protocol. He still has a little bit of a lingering headache, but he’s clearly better, and hopefully all goes well and he can start (advancing through the protocol) this weekend. But he will not travel with us (Thursday to Orlando). He will not be at either roac game (against the Magic and New Orleans Pelicans).”
Al Horford – Illness: “Al is feeling a little bit better. He was knocked out really through yesterday. He did go to the gym yesterday evening to try to shoot around a little bit, felt pretty weak. He went through some stuff this morning, still didn’t feel great. We’re probably just erring on the side of caution with that, but at the same time he hasn’t done anything for four days, so we’re trying to get him feeling great heading into the weekend. He should be back and ready to roll by Friday, hopefully.
Kyrie Irving – Left knee soreness: “Kyrie has gotten a little bit better each day. He’s not playing tonight and is unlikely for Friday. The plan is to have him travel though, so he could play in one of the games on the road.
Stevens added that Irving had some imaging done on his knee. “Everything looked great, which is good. He’s just got some soreness and some pain in that knee. It’s not something that you wouldn’t have guessed he’d have some of. But obviously, creeping up twice in 10 days, we want to be very careful with that.”
Marcus Smart – Sprained right thrumb: “We’re assessing how significant the ligament damage is. Our doctors are going to talk to another doctor about what the chances are of being able to play without furthering the injury, and also if it necessitates surgery or not and what the recovery time would be. After all that information is gathered, he’ll make a decision, along with all of us, on the rest of the year. We’ll know more next week.”
Jayson Tatum – Lower-back pain: “I think it’s just stuff that you deal with over the course of 67 games. He went through everything this morning. They went through extra work afterwards … I would think he’s going to play tonight.
Daniel Theis – Torn meniscus: “Daniel’s going to have surgery tomorrow and will be out for the season.”
Two-way player Jabari Bird is also unavailable, as he is has been dealing with back spasms since Jan. 10.
With all of that noted, here’s Boston’s new-look starting 5 for Wednesday night’s game, assuming that Tatum will play.
PG – Terry Rozier
SG – Jayson Tatum
SF – Marcus Morris
PF – Guerschon Yabusele
C – Aron Baynes
Despite all of the changes, Stevens remains positive and confident in the remaining players that are available.
“We’ve dealt with injuries all year,” said the coach. “It started six minutes into the season (with Gordon Hayward), but we’ve figured it out. And that’s the expectation – we’re just going to work as hard as we can, put in as much as we can that fits, and try our best to figure it out.”
– Taylor Snow