BOSTON – Al Horford is back in the Boston Celtics’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz. But the news isn’t as encouraging for Marcus Morris.
Horford (rest) missed Boston’s 124-118 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, a decision the Celtics had decided on several weeks prior due to the way the Celtics’ schedule was breaking down.
Put it like this: the Celtics will be at game No. 41, the official halfway point of the season, on Jan. 3 when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And with the 31-year-old Horford being the oldest member on the team and leading them in minutes played, it made sense for the Celtics to have a strategic rest plan in place for the four-time All-Star.
As for Morris, the Celtics will continue to seek out ways to provide him enough downtime to help strengthen his left knee, while also getting him on the floor.
“We don’t have an update on a timeline for him,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He’s feeling better as the week has gone on.”
I asked Stevens what does Morris have to do at this point to get back on the floor.
“The biggest thing is, feeling better consistently, day to day and not having these setbacks,” Stevens said. “With the schedule we’re in the midst of now, playing every day would not be the answer. I think getting him to feel as good as he can … he’s had a couple different opinions, everybody has come up with the same result and that is strengthen it, work diligently on it, and it shouldn’t be a long-term thing. But let’s make sure that we rest over the next couple of weeks, appropriately.
Stevens added, “He’s had a little bit of a setback here, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be long-term.”