BOSTON – For as long as the NBA has been around, the final few weeks of the season have been a tug-of-war for franchises seeking to balance rest with rhythm. And as tempting as it may be for the Celtics to go all-out for the top seed even as Toronto continues to separate itself from the rest, Boston will be wise to err on the side of rest.
Put it this way: Of the starting lineup Boston had on opening night, only one player from that group (Jayson Tatum) is a definite starter for the team’s next game with each of the other four -- Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford -- all out for some or all of Boston's 99-97 loss to Indiana.
Before injuries derail what has been a special season, the Celtics need to pump the breaks on these injuries right now and the easiest way to address that is to not play certain guys.
So don’t be surprised to see the Celtics enter the playoffs with some not-so-gaudy stats in the final month, but a roster that is well rested and because of that, better equipped to play what they hope will be a lot of basketball well into the month of June.
BOSTON – You can add Daniel Theis to the list of walking wounded Boston Celtics players.
The 6-foot-10 forward, a key sparkplug off the Celtics’ bench all season, has a left knee injury that had him walking around with a noticeable limp following Boston’s 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Theis told NBC Sports Boston that he will have an MRI performed on the knee tomorrow morning.
“So we’ll see how that goes,” Theis said.
Depending on the results of the MRI, the Celtics may find themselves even more depleted than they already are in terms of regular rotation players.
Jaylen Brown suffered a concussion in Boston’s 117-109 win at Minnesota last week, with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens already ruling him out for games played this week.
The Celtics are also monitoring Kyrie Irving’s left knee which was too sore for him to play in the second half of Boston’s 99-97 loss to Indiana on Sunday. While it’s not considered serious, it may result in him missing games between now and the end of the regular season to better insure he’s good to go when the playoffs roll around.
Al Horford had a fever and did not play in Sunday’s loss, but his sickness isn’t considered serious so he’s likely back in the lineup for Boston when they return to the floor on Wednesday against Washington.