The Boston Celtics are coming off an impressive road win Tuesday over the Philadelphia 76ers. As they now gear up to head into the All-Star break on a positive note, there’s one more hurdle to get past, and they draw the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. While they played without Kyrie Irving last game due to injury, it seems Terry Rozier will likely join him on the sidelines against the Pistons.
As The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported, Irving, who’s dealing with a knee strain has been ruled out while Rozier is doubtful for Wednesday’s game.
It seems Rozier is dealing with an illness and it’s unknown if there’s any realistic chance that he gets upgraded from doubtful. It seems likely that Brad Stevens and company could just opt to hold him out for the final game break the All-Star break.
With there being a high likelihood that both Irving and Rozier will be out, let’s look at the Celtics’ roster and starting lineup for this game.
Celtics Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Pistons
|Center||Al Horford||Robert Williams||Guerschon Yabusele|
|Power Forward||Marcus Morris||Daniel Theis||Semi Ojeleye|
|Small Forward||Jayson Tatum||Gordon Hayward|
|Shooting Guard||Jaylen Brown||P.J. Dozier|
|Point Guard||Marcus Smart||Brad Wanamaker|
It seems likely that Stevens will opt to have Marcus Smart start at point guard and shift Jaylen Brown into the starting shooting guard role. Obviously, he could choose to go a different route and give Brad Wanamaker the nod in this game, but the former would make the most sense. Regardless, Wanamaker is bound to see a decent chunk of minutes in this game due to Rozier likely sitting.
As Basketball Monster details, with Irving and Rozier both off the floor (along with Aron Baynes), Jayson Tatum sees a usage increase from 22.5 to 33.5. Brown’s also jumps from 22.2 to 29.4 and Marcus Morris, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford all see increases from a statistical standpoint.
Latest on Kyrie Irving’s Injury
Irving left Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a knee injury which didn’t look good. Fortunately, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported it was a knee sprain and he’s being listed as day-to-day. It seems likely that he’ll return to action after the break, and there wasn’t a high likelihood that he’d play against the Pistons.
The Celtics return from the break to take on the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo in a nationally-televised matchup on Thursday, February 21. As far as whether Irving will participate in the All-Star Game, that’ll be something that’s decided in the coming days, but the team will almost certainly push for him to sit out.