As if things couldn’t get worse, the spiraling Boston Celtics will be without one of their top players for the remainder of the year. The team took to Twitter on Monday to announce that Jaylen Brown, who has missed each of the past three games, will be held out for the remainder of the season.
“This past weekend Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was diagnosed with a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist,” per the team’s official website. “Brown is expected to have the torn ligament surgically repaired later this week, and will be out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.”
In the words of C’s in-house reporter Marc D’Amico, “the season from hell continues.”
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A Terrible Loss at a Horrendous Time
To describe the loss of Brown as a massive blow for the Celtics would be an understatement. A first-time All-Star, the 24-year-old averaged offensive highs across the board this season. In 58 games, Brown averaged 24.7 points on 48.4% shooting from the field and 39.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The CAL product also notched career highs in both rebounds (6.0) and assists (3.4). Proving himself as one of the best mid-range scorers in the league, Brown was essentially the only constant offensive threat beyond Jayson Tatum in Boston’s topsy-turvy lineup.
The Celtics’ playoff hopes are hanging in the balance, as the team is more than likely headed for the play-in tournament following their loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday — their third loss over their last four games. As of today, Boston sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 35-33.
The Cs have four games remaining in the regular season, two of which come against conference foes with an above .500 record. First, Boston will look to revenge their loss against Miami as they welcome the Heat into TD Garden on Tuesday. Then, they’ll wrap this season up in New York, facing off with the surging Knicks.
Robert Williams Joining Brown on the Mend?
If the loss of Brown wasn’t enough of a tough pill to swallow for Celtics fans, it’s looking as if the team will have to make do with — at the very least — a sub-100% Robert Williams for the foreseeable future.
Williams, who drew the start on Sunday after missing eight of the last 13 games with multiple lower extremity injuries, lasted all of 11 minutes against the Heat before ultimately calling it a day.
“Too uncomfortable to keep going,” head coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Williams’ turf toe. “I don’t know what’s going to (happen). It could be game-time decisions every day. We may have to sit him. I don’t know what the deal is right now.”
With the Daniel Theis trade looking more and more like a misfire by the day and the decision to waive Moe Wagner, the Celtics will likely be leaning on a handful of low-ceiling bigs to play meaningful minutes behind veteran Tristan Thompson.
Luke Kornet and Tacko Fall are the only other true big men on the roster that are healthy. Yet, don’t be surprised to see Stevens opt for a smaller lineup, using the likes of Grant Williams and Jabari Parker in the frontcourt.
“That’s something we’re going to have to manage,” said Stevens. “I played Tristan like 15 straight minutes in the second half.”