BOSTON – As Jayson Tatum stood before a throng of media prior to tonight’s game, he was asked about Guerschon Yabusele making his first NBA start tonight against Washington.
“He’s starting?” said Tatum, clearly caught off guard by the news. “I didn’t know that.”
And before another question was asked, Tatum yelled out to his teammate, “Hey Guersch? I’m happy for you.”
Yabusele’s response was a slight head nod, acknowledging is appreciation for Tatum’s sentiment but clearly not wanting to make a big deal out of the situation.
But the truth is … it is a big deal, a deal that Boston had to make courtesy of an unusually high rash of injuries and illnesses that have significantly increased the degree of difficulty for the Celtics tonight as they host the Washington Wizards.
However, this is nothing to the Celtics who have been in plug-and-play mode all season with various key players out, only to turn to a seldom-used reserve who makes the most of their opportunity to shine.
“I’ve always been ready. I was just waiting for my time,” Yabusele said prior to tonight’s game.
He added, “I’m going to be focused from the beginning.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens told Yabusele that he was going to be spending about a month with the team’s Gatorade League Development team, the Maine Red Claws. But that message came with an addendum – be ready because you may be called upon to play with the Celtics at any time.
Is the Dancing Bear up for the challenge?
We’ll find out tonight.