BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics may be a bit shorthanded when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday night. Jayson Tatum is questionable for the tilt with a “sprained left thumb.”
Fear not ,though. It’s more likely that Tatum’s questionable tag has more to do with the back-to-back rather than his thumb, with Tatum logging 40 minutes against the Pacers on Tuesday night.
Tatum was pretty good in those 40 minutes, too, pouring in a game-high 27 points in Boston’s 111-106 victory in Indiana. He scored 14 of those points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics erased a 17-point, second-half deficit to earn the win.
Tatum is not alone on Boston’s injury report, and the Celtics will be down a few bodies for Wednesday night’s game. Big man Tristan Thompson will miss the game as he continues to nurse the hamstring injury that had him on a minutes restriction to start the season. Javonte Green will also miss the contest due to health and safety protocols.
Tristan Thompson (right hamstring strain recovery) – OUT
Kemba Walker (left knee injury recovery) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 30, 2020
For Green, this could mean a positive COVID-19 test or that he had close contact with someone who did test positive. The NBA announced Wednesday that there were no new positive tests over the last week, so Green is out due to contract tracing.
Thompson had his best game in a Boston uniform Tuesday night, scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The big man had started all four games for the Celtics this season, so this is likely Brad Stevens’ way of getting Thompson an early rest.
While the Celtics are shorthanded, the Grizzlies are in an even tougher spot. Memphis won’t have point guard Ja Morant, who is out three to five weeks with an ankle sprain he suffered Monday night.