Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Saturday that the team expects to find out more about Jaylen Brown’s hamstring tightness on Sunday, but noted Boston is proceeding with caution due to Brown’s history with that injury.
Brown exited Thursday’s win over the Miami Heat after the hamstring tightened up in the second half. Brown will miss Saturday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks and Udoka hinted Brown could be sidelined for a bit.
"He's still getting assessed. We'll know more [Sunday] about severity or length of time or whatever,” Udoka said after Boston’s morning shootaround. "Being cautious. It’s something he's dealt with in the past. I think he's had three (instances) or so over the last four years. So, it's something that he's dealt with before. But he's also bounced back pretty quickly.
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"They're a little different with everybody and so, depending on the strain, the grade of the strain, it could be anywhere from a week to two weeks, depending on the person. So, he's come back quickly in the past and we'll know more when we find out the severity.”
Brown’s absence could open the door for more playing time for younger players like Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith, who keyed strong bench play in the win over the Heat. Josh Richardson missed that game due to a foot bruise but went through shootaround Saturday with hope of being able to play in Dallas.
Brown’s injury comes as he was playing some inspired ball, this after missing the end of training camp while battling COVID-19. Brown is averaging a career-best 25.6 points over 36.5 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 49.3 percent from the floor overall and 39.7 percent beyond the 3-point arc.
The Celtics have a team-best net rating of plus-7.3 with Brown on the floor. That number plummets to a team-worst minus-17.5 when he’s on the bench.
"He's obviously played at a high level. But, when guys were out, he stepped up and it's gonna have to be the same thing, vice versa,” said Udoka. "We had some good, good play by the young guys that got in with J-Rich being out. So, we'll ask those guys to continue to do what they're doing and, depend on our guys — Jayson [Tatum] and all our veterans anyway, so we expect all those guys to step up in his absence.”