BOSTON – You never wish an injury on any player, especially someone like Daniel Theis (right hamstring) who is playing some of his best basketball of the season right now.
But his absence opens the door for someone else to step up and get the bulk of his playing time which this month, has been nearly 20 minutes a night.
Brad Stevens didn’t mince words when asked about who would likely get the majority of Theis’ minutes tonight against the Charlotte Hornets.
"Greg (Monroe) will play in that spot,” Stevens said.
Monroe, acquired by the Celtics after agreeing to a buyout with the Phoenix Suns, has appeared in six games for the Celtics, averaging 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game.
Expect all of those numbers to spike some tonight.
“One of the things about signing Greg is he provides a unique skillset to our team, but also we’re not overly deep as far as bigs go,” Stevens said. “It’s great to have that extra depth. And it’s a great opportunity for Greg.”
In an interview recently with NBC Sports Boston, Monroe acknowledged he understood that patience was going to be needed on his part when he signed with the Celtics.
“But when my opportunity comes, I’ll be ready to do whatever it is they need from me,” he said. “Like I said, this team has been playing good basketball all year. All I want to do is add to that; that’s all.”
Only two NBA players have had their NBA 2K19 ratings revealed so far: LeBron James and Jayson Tatum.
Despite having just one season under his belt, NBA 2K19 awarded the 20-year-old with an 87-overall.
While James, the cover athlete of the game’s 20th Anniversary Edition, earned a 98-overall, Tatum’s 87-overall is higher than many anticipated and a ten-point jump from his initial rating as a rookie.
Tatum responded to the rating by quote tweeting the eye emojis (on World Emoji Day no less).
Tatum fell short of Rookie of the Year honors, but averaging 18.5 points per game in the playoffs and helping lead the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals clearly made an impression on the game developers.
The forward's 87 is the same rating given to 2018 All-Stars such as Bradley Beal and Draymond Green at the end of last season, and higher than All-Stars like Al Horford and Kyle Lowry.
No other Celtics’ ratings have been revealed thus far, but Kyrie Irving, who finished last season at a 93, is likely to be the team’s highest-rated player.
Ratings are revealed periodically up until the game’s early-release date on September 7.
The Boston Celtics' transformation from contenders to pretenders and back again has drawn the praise of fans and rivals alike.
That praise continued to rain down on Sunday as Brett Brown, coach of the rival 76ers, lauded Boston’s team, Danny Ainge, and company.
“When you’re designing a team, when you’re thinking about the things you have to do from a coaching standpoint, when you’re forward-thinking about matchups, how can you not think about the Boston Celtics?” Brown told the Boston Herald. “I’ve said many times and I’ll say it again, the partnership that Brad (Stevens) and Danny (Ainge) have is fantastic.”
“And for all of my years in Philadelphia, you’re always looking over your shoulder at what Boston is doing. I think in many ways they are a benchmark type of program for me, and I’m always thinking about how ultimately do you beat them.”
While the 76ers exceeded expectations last season, the Celtics eliminated Philadelphia in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
With LeBron James moving west, many feel the race for Eastern Conference supremacy is shaping up to be a battle between the two long-time rivals, both of whom have young cores, for the foreseeable future.