Celtics Get Huge Boost to Begin the Year

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

After ending 2021 on a sour note due to injuries and health and safety protocols, the Boston Celtics look set for a solid start to 2022.

It’s no secret that the Celtics have been hit hard by COVID once again and that some of their recent losses come down to a lack of chemistry and talent. And while the rest of the NBA is dealing with the same problems, for Boston, history is repeating itself after their roster was decimated during the 2020-21 NBA season for the same reasons.

However, according to the Celtics latest injury report, the team is nearing total health, with Enes Freedom the only player being classified as “out.”

Dennis Schroder looks set to return against the Orlando Magic on January 2. He will give the Celtics some additional scoring – either as a starter or off the bench, while the team will be delighted to get some extra depth on their bench. Aaron Nesmith will also return to the rotation, but it’s unclear if he will be afforded any playing time after failing to impress during his recent opportunities.

With only three players on the injury report, this marks a massive turnaround for the Celtics, who had to release their injury updates in a five-page Twitter thread just a week ago.


Jayson Tatum Could Potentially Return Against Orlando

It’s official, Jayson Tatum is out of COVID health and safety protocols and could potentially make his return to the court against the Magic. However, the Celtics could err on the side of caution and hold their budding superstar out of the contest as they bid to ramp up his fitness and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Should Tatum not participate in the January 2 contest against Orlando, his return would likely come against the San Antonio Spurs on January 5 or the New York Knicks on January 6.

Tatum, who suffered from COVID during the 2020-21 NBA season, and struggled upon his return to game action, will likely be eased back into the rotation due to his importance to the Celtics for the rest of the season. However, if the 23-year-old All-Star was asymptomatic and had kept himself in shape, there is a chance he would participate against the Magic.

The Celtics, who struggled to close out games against weakened opponents in Tatum’s absence, will welcome back their star player, which would also allow Jaylen Brown to resume his role as the team’s second option – a role he’s much more suited to.


Robert Williams is Questionable for Orlando Game

Williams is riding the crest of a wave following his triple-double performance in the Celtics impressive December 31 victory over the Phoenix Suns. However, it would seem that during his career game, the athletic big man suffered a sprained toe.

It’s worth noting that Williams struggled towards the end of the 2020-21 season with a turf toe, and the Celtics will be cautious with this latest injury not to lose Williams for a prolonged period of time.

If Williams does miss the January 2 game against the Magic, the Celtics will be short on centers, with Enes Freedom also on the injury list. As such, we will likely see Juancho Hernangomez or Jabari Parker for small stretches along with Grant Williams in a small-ball center role.

This season, Williams has been in great form, averaging 10 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, per Basketball-Reference.

With the Celtics nearing total health, there should be quiet optimism for the team to start climbing back up the Eastern Conference standings after suffering some tough losses throughout the month of December.

 

 

 

 

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