BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics are a little beat up at the moment, but they should have one of their big men back on the floor for Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand (with Rich Keefe filling in for Beetle) Wednesday afternoon and said while Amir Johnson (day-to-day) will miss another game with plantar fasciitis, Jared Sullinger is expected to return after missing Monday night’s win with a bad back.READ MORE: 9 Injured At Back Bay MBTA Station After Escalator Malfunction
“Sully went through shootaround and felt good, so I’m anticipating he’ll play unless something creeps up in the next few hours,” said Stevens.
READ: Celtics-Hornets Preview
Stevens also said Marcus Smart (who traveled with the team) is about two weeks away from a return from a knee injury, though he’s hoping the point guard’s status shifts to day-to-day after next week.READ MORE: First Afghan Refugees Arrive In Massachusetts
With Johnson missing his second straight game Wednesday night, that could lead to more playing time for Tyler Zeller. A starter in Boston’s front court on opening night, Zeller has been buried on the bench for the better part of the season. But he’s played well when he has seen the floor, and had 14 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes of play Monday night against Minnesota.
“Tyler is a really good player. We’ve talked about this and the nice part about having depth, especially at the power forward/center position, is when you have two guys out we’re not going to miss a beat. We’re at our best when we have Sullinger and Amir available, but at the same time any of those guys can play at a high level. The negative is we have a logjam at that position, so there are nights where everyone is available but not everyone can play,” explained Stevens.
Zeller’s approach to the game while not logging consistent minutes has really impressed everyone on the team.
“Tyler has handled it so well that he has really endeared himself even more to his teammates, coaches and font office for the way he’s stayed professional while not getting consistent playing time,” said Stevens.MORE NEWS: Gas Leak In Lawrence Forces More Than 100 People Out Of Nearby Buildings
Stevens also touched on an improved Eastern Conference, a touching tribute to Kevin Garnett at the TD Garden and his plans for Christmas: