Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart of Boston Celtics will join three other players who will be out for the showdown against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
he former Cleveland Cavaliers star will be sitting out to rest his tendinitis while Smart was sidelined by a thumb injury. Gordon Hayward, who broke his leg in his debut as a Celtic, is not expected to play this season although he’s already walking around without any problems.
There’s still no timetable for Jaylen Brown after a nasty fall in the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. He was diagnosed with a concussion. Daniel Thies, meanwhile, is also out due to a knee injury.
Finally, Al Horford won’t be seeing action because of an unannounced illness.
That means coach Brad Stevens would be shuffling 11 players and relying on six rookies to topple the Wizards.
Boston Celtics needs all the wins they can get as they are sitting precariously at second place (46-21) behind the Toronto Raptors (49-17), which already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers, meanwhile, are slowly creeping up on Boston.
Terry Rozier, who will likely be a starter until Smart and Irving returns, will have to step up along with rookie Jayson Tatum, Aron Baynes and veteran big man Greg Monroe who came in from the Phoenix Suns.
Rozier said that injuries are part of the business.
“A lot of teams are going through that,” he said. “Collectively, as a group, we’ve just got to do what we can to pick up guys, and it’s not going to be easy but part of the NBA, this is what it’s about, opportunity.”
Stevens, meanwhile, said they still have enough personnel to try to pull out an upset. The coach admitted that he has never had a season when all their key players were sidelined by injuries. “It started right out of the gate this way with Gordon,” he explained. “But, the rest of the year, we’ve dealt with what would be small, week-to-week or couple-weeks-out type things.”