BOSTON (CBS) — Usually, people tune in to a Celtics game to check out Kyrie Irving’s sweet dribbling and incredible shot-making. Or to see the upside of 21-year-old Jayson Tatum, the all-around game of Al Horford, or even the recent reemergence of Gordon Hayward.
But basketball fans will see none of that Tuesday night in Boston’s regular season finale against the Washington Wizards. They also won’t see either of the Marcuses on the team. With nothing on the line, the Celtics are sitting their regulars ahead of the playoffs. Seven players have been ruled out for Tuesday night’s tilt in the nation’s capital, including Boston’s entire starting lineup:
Kyrie Irving (right knee contusion)
Gordon Hayward (left ankle soreness)
Al Horford (left knee soreness)
Jayson Tatum (shin contusion)
Marcus Smart (left oblique contusion)
Marcus Morris (right patellar tendinopathy)
Aron Baynes (left ankle soreness)
That is quite the injury report. And that isn’t all of it, either. Jaylen Brown and Guerschon Yabusele are both probable, while Daniel Theis is questionable with right foot soreness.
So who the heck will be playing for the C’s when they close out the regular season? It’s quite the motley crew of young players and G Leaugers that will be taking on the Wizards:
Terry Rozier, G
Brad Wanamaker, G
Semi Ojeleye, F
Robert Williams, C
PJ Dozier, G
RJ Hunter, G
Mix in Brown and Yabusele, and Brad Stevens will have eight players to work with (nine if Theis plays) against the Wizards. But given Brown just some missed time with a bad back, maybe he shouldn’t see too much run in a meaningless game with the playoffs just days away.
Update: The Celtics signed guard Jonathon Gibson on Tuesday to take up their final spot on the roster. If he sounds familiar, that’s because he played four games for Boston last season, including their regular season finale when he scored 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting against the Brooklyn Nets. He’ll be active for Tuesday night’s game.
The Celtics are locked into the four-seed in the Eastern Conference and are already looking toward their first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers. The Wizards are just 32-49 on the season.
The NBA was obviously hoping for a little more juice from this matchup, with the game slated to be their nationally televised TNT game. At least fans tuning in will get to see some players they wouldn’t usually see in action.