It’s been a strange and somewhat frustrating past two games for the Boston Celtics. Although the team sits with a 35-21 record and have more than enough talent to be the class of the Eastern Conference, things have just seemed a bit off. They’ll look to right the ship on Tuesday night, though, when they head on the road for a tough matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics lost back-to-back games against the two Los Angeles teams in the Lakers and Clippers, both coming at the TD Garden. But prior to that, they won five straight and 10 of the previous 11, showing the obvious upside this unit boasts. But against the new-look Sixers on Tuesday, the Celtics will be without star point guard Kyrie Irving, who suffered a knee injury on Saturday.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on Irving’s knee, as well as the Celtics roster and starting lineup against Philly.
Positive Update on Kyrie Irving’s Injury
The injury which removed Irving from Saturday’s game looked bad and left obvious concern about his outlook moving forward. Fortunately, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the injury was a knee sprain and isn’t serious, leaving him listed as day-to-day.
Irving is not expected to miss extended time, but Rotoworld’s Mike Gallagher believes the Celtics guard will “probably” sit Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons. Boston will then be off through the All-Star break, pointing to his likely return coming in a nationally-televised matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, February 21.
In his absence, it’s expected that Terry Rozier will take over as the starting point guard, as we’ve seen at other points when Irving has missed time this season.
Celtics Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Sixers
|Center||Al Horford||Robert Williams||Guerschon Yabusele|
|Power Forward||Marcus Morris||Daniel Theis||Semi Ojeleye|
|Small Forward||Jayson Tatum||Gordon Hayward|
|Shooting Guard||Marcus Smart||Jaylen Brown||P.J. Dozier|
|Point Guard||Terry Rozier||Brad Wanamaker|
Irving’s absence isn’t the only one to note, as The Athletic’s Jay King reported just over a week ago that Aron Baynes is taking an extended absence due to a lingering foot injury. This stems from a contusion on the cuboid bone in his foot and King reports that if Baynes were to play through it there could be complications such as a stress fracture.
Daniel Theis has seen some extended work with Baynes sidelined and scored 10 points with five rebounds on Saturday along with 20 points and six boards the game prior. It’s likely that Theis will backup Horford as Robert Williams hasn’t seen heavy minutes this year.
With Irving sidelined, it means Rozier, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are all virtually locked into big minutes on Tuesday night.