Jayson Tatum Suffers Left Thumb Sprain Vs Pacers
Tatum appeared to have suffered the injury throughout the first half of Wednesday’s game, his hand was wrapped after halftime. That would be a tremendous loss for the Celtics even if it means the reigning Rookie of the Year award winner in Ja Morant won’t be suiting up.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Morant’s MRI revealed a Grade 2 left ankle sprain, and is expected to miss three-to-five weeks. Ja suffered the injury in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. He went to block a shot when he landed on Nets guard Luwau-Gaborrot’s foot. Despite the loss of its point guard, Memphis rallied behind the injury and carved out a gritty 116-111 overtime win over the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving-less Nets.
As for Boston, it doesn’t all start with Kemba Walker (left knee) and ends with Tatum being listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game. Tristan Thompson (right hamstring) is also ruled out, which was somewhat expected due to the fact the Celtics are playing on the second night of an away-to-home-back-to-back set but doesn’t make their matchup against Memphis any easier.
Javonte Green (health, safety protocol) will also not play Wednesday, and Tacko Fall (right eye), like Tatum, is listed as questionable, as well. This should clear the way for Robert Williams to play some big minutes.
Will Brad Stevens Go ‘Full-Time Lord?’
The backup big man put together an impressive performance as he and rookie Payton Pritchard anchored the Celtics’ secondary defense throughout the end of the third quarter.
It rattled the Pacers, forcing them to eventually surrender its 17-point lead in the fourth quarter as Boston used an 8-0 run to erase its double-digit deficit and reel in a 116-111 come from behind victory. Williams finished a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor for 8 points, 5 rebounds in 11 minutes.
This came after Sunday’s loss when Stevens talked about how important Williams was against the Pacers and Celtics fans hope the last two outings are signs that Robert is due for a big performance.
He’s just going to need the proverbial rope from Stevens extended from the 15 minutes per game role he’s been preliminarily locked into throughout the past three games.
“I thought Rob was our best big tonight,” Stevens said Sunday night after losing to the Pacers. “I thought that was pretty clear, right? He played with great energy, he played super hard, did everything well. Obviously, we were very low energy in the third quarter and that cost us the game.
“To our guys’ credit, they hung in there and got back in the game. Rob was one of the reasons why because he brought a great deal of energy to the table.”