Celtics All-Star Ruled Out, Brad Stevens Begging For Urgency

Getty Images Jayson Tatum of the Celtics talks with Jaylen Brown

Ahead of their matchup against the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens kicked off his media availability by delivering an injury report on All-Stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and point guard Kemba Walker.

“Jayson practiced full, Kemba practiced full, Jaylen was out; Jaylen’s out tomorrow,” Stevens said after practice on Tuesday afternoon. “But, (he’s) very much day-to-day after that.”

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That’s great news for the Celtics.

Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker Available

There’s something about watching Boston’s franchise cornerstone stars limping off the parquet floor after colliding with one another — in the final minute of a 129-119 fateful loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, nonetheless — at TD Garden that gives off an uneasy feeling.

For Celtics fans, that feeling has been hard to shake off over the past 48 hours. However, considering Brown day-to-day after Wednesday night’s matchup in Orlando is a weight off of the fanbase’s proverbial shoulders — for now.

Learning Walker participated fully on Tuesday, is also a great sign that the veteran point guard health’s improving. Walker, who’s missed the past three games, suffered an oblique injury against the Chicago Bulls.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens: ‘Our Playoffs Have Clearly Started’

This means everything for the Celtics because, as Brad so eloquently put it — that playoffs have already started, by his estimation; thus why every minute played between now and the end of the regular season matters.

The Celtics (34-31), currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, would participate in the NBA play-in tournament if the playoffs started today. Trailing the Miami Heat by half a game in the win column, Boston is ahead of Charlotte by two games, and two-and-a-half games behind the Atlanta Hawks, who are fifth in the East.

With only seven games left to determine playoff positioning, Stevens was unimpressed with his team’s effort, on Sunday, and says the Celtics’ postseason is already underway.

“We played a team that was dialed-in, in (the) Portland (Trail Blazers). We didn’t get beat in all of the tough shots they hit when we were facing them and they were still making them,” Stevens said. “No, we got beat on turnovers and rim-decisions that led to runouts. If you get to that point in the playoffs, that’s how you lose playoffs series’, that’s how you lose playoff games, and ultimately, we’ve got to correct that now because our playoffs have clearly started.

“Hopefully, we can have our best seven games defensively as we head into whatever our postseason opportunities are.”


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