BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics have had a knack for suffering some gruesome injuries this season.
It started with Gordon Hayward’s ankle on opening night, followed by Kyrie Irving and Daniel Theis both breaking their faces. Luckily, those two have been able to play with the help of protective masks.
Celtics fans were “treated” to another display of nastiness on Wednesday night, when rookie Jayson Tatum dislocated his right pinky diving for a loose ball in the first quarter against the Miami Heat. Miami’s Josh Richardson kicked Tatum’s hand as the C’s forward tried to deflect the ball to teammate Jaylen Brown, and the rookie was clearly in some pain as he grimaced on the floor with his pinky facing the wrong way.
Tatum made his way to the Boston locker room and emerged with his pinky and ring finger taped together, re-entering the game at the start of the second quarter. He said after the game that he popped the pinky back into place on the court.
“It’s good,” he said. “They checked it and made sure I didn’t break it or anything like that. It’s the first time I’ve ever dislocated anything.”
Though he said it felt weird to not be able to spread those two fingers, it didn’t look like it hurt his game too much. Midway through the second quarter, he pulled down a rebound on the defensive end and went coast-to-coast for a nice dunk:
Tatum finished Boston’s 90-89 loss with 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting and seven rebounds. He did, however, struggle from three-point range, missing both of his bids from downtown. It’s just the fifth game this season he’s failed to hit a three, dropping him a percentage point behind Sacramento’s George Hill (.506 — Tatum is “down” to .505) for the NBA’s best three-point shooting percentage.
He doesn’t have much time to let the pinky heal, either, with Boston in New York on Thursday night for a tilt against the Knicks. Tatum said the finger was still throbbing after Wednesday night’s loss, but he expects to play against the Knicks.