BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics frontcourt will be extremely shorthanded against the Wizards on Friday night. Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams and Grant Williams have all been ruled out due to “Heath and Safety Protocols,” and now face a seven-day quarantine.
“Health and Safety Protocols” is the NBA’s way of defining COVID-19-related issues. Teams can’t be more specific than that for privacy reasons, but it could mean a player had a positive test or close contact with someone who tested positive.
According to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, Robert Williams was the only player to test positive and has been asymptomatic. Thompson and Grant Williams are out due to contact tracing.
According to a league source, Robert Williams was the lone Celtics player to test positive for COVID-19 and has been asymptomatic. Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams are out for contact tracing.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) January 8, 2021
The issue is somewhat concerning, considering the Celtics just spent the last week together on a four-game road trip. It was also reported Thursday that four players in the NBA had tested positive for COVID-19 since Dec. 30.
The NBA won’t postpone a game unless a team has fewer than eight players available. So unless a number of additional Celtics are added to the list, Friday’s game will go on as planned. But further complicating Friday’s game is the fact that the Wizards just played the Philadelphia 76ers, and Philly guard Seth Curry just tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN. Philadelphia put its entire team in quarantine Thursday night.
If Thompson and the Williams boys are out for an extended period of time, it will mean a lot more playing time for Daniel Theis and potentially Tacko Fall. Semi Ojeleye could also be in line for some big minutes if Boston’s smaller lineups.
On a brighter note, Celtics guard Javonte Green was not on the injury report for the first time since Dec. 30, missing the last five games due to those health and safety protocols. Guard Jeff Teague is also questionable with the sprained ankle that has cost him the past two games.
If Teague can’t go on Friday, the Boston bench will consist of only Green, Fall, Edwards, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith and Tremont Waters. That is, if the two teams play Friday’s game as scheduled.