The Boston Celtics delivered some good news and some bad news, Monday afternoon.
As Celtics head coach Brad Stevens prepares his team for a convenient, yet, challenging seven-game homestand, that includes the likes of Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, MVP candidate Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, and Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on the docket, he’s going have to start out without one half of his All-Star duo.
Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Ruled Out Vs. Pelicans
Jaylen Brown, who suffered a hip contusion against the Bucks during the Celtics’ recent two-game stretch at Milwaukee, has been ruled out for Boston’s matchup against the Pelicans, on Monday. He joins Celtics center Tristan Thompson and Romeo Langford — both are in the NBA health and safety protocols.
Semi Ojeleye, who took a hard screen in the Celtics’ 121-119 loss against the Bucks, Wednesday, suffered a “left side strain,” according to the Celtics. Ojeleye is expected to be out for, what could be, the next two weeks.
“He’ll be out for 10 days, plus,” Stevens said after the Celtics’ 111-94 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday night. “He’s got a small, you know, I don’t know if it was a contusion or a small, small tear in that oblique. It’s not as bad as (Marcus) Smart’s was a few years ago when he had it in the playoffs, but still. Nonetheless, gonna have him out for a couple of weeks.”
Evan Fournier Cleared For Celtics Debut
Fournier, who was traded to the Celtics via their traded player exception, along with Jeff Teague and two future second-round picks, is no longer in the NBA health and safety protocols. The timing is perfect.
“I think the addition of Evan is going to help us a lot,” Celtics point guard Kemba Walker said after team shootaround, Monday morning. “He’s a great player. Me playing against Evan over the years; I know how well he can score it, how well he can get other guys involved, how much he competes, and how much he wants to win. He has great passion for the game, which always is a good boost, especially for us.
“He’s going to be great for us and I can’t wait to get him acclimated.”
Celtics Fans Return To TD Garden
Fournier also gets a chance to relax in his new Boston home for the next 10 days, or so, thanks to the Celtics’ longest homestand of the regular season. And, at TD Garden, for the first time in his career, he’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be on the fans’ preferred side on the floor.
Last Thursday, TD Garden welcomed Bruins fans back for the first major sporting event in Boston since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, roughly 2,200 spectators, representing 12% of the building’s capacity, will take in their first Celtics game since 2020, Monday night.