Jayson Tatum questionable for Hornets on Friday

Jayson Tatum questionable for Hornets on Friday

BOSTON – There’s still no guarantee that Jayson Tatum will play Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets. 

But the right ankle injury he suffered in the first half of Boston’s 107-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday isn’t bad enough to where the team has ruled him out, either. 

The Boston Celtics are listing Tatum as questionable for Friday’s game against the Hornets which is actually a good sign. 


That means whatever issues he had with the ankle, they are not serious enough to where the Celtics know for certain that he can’t play.

The same can’t be said for Al Horford, who is in the league’s concussion protocol program and has already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Hornets. 

If Tatum does not play, the Celtics can go in a number of different ways as far as who would start in his place. 

Marcus Smart could be inserted into the starting lineup, which would slide Jaylen Brown over to small forward with Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris representing Boston’s two bigs with the first group. 

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens may decide to go with Daniel Theis who would play power forward, and have Morris start at small forward which is the position he played most of last season with the Detroit Pistons. 

All of the aforementioned players have seen action this season with the first group, the kind of experience that for the younger players like Theis could prove invaluable at some point later in the season if called upon to step in as an injury replacement in the starting lineup. 

Tatum, drafted by Boston with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, has been among the most productive rookies in the NBA this season. 

He averages 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from 3-point range while averaging 29.8 minutes per game.


NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”