By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s going to get pretty interesting for the Celtics on Wednesday night. Kemba Walker will sit out the second leg of Boston’s back-to-back, and with Payton Prichard not ready to return, Brad Stevens is going to have to get really creative with his guard rotation when the Celtics visit the Sacramento Kings.READ MORE: I-Team: Kids In Crisis Spend Weeks In Emergency Room Waiting For Mental Health Services
Walker and Pritchard were both ruled out for Wednesday night’s tilt, leaving Stevens with just two point guards active against the Kings: Jeff Teague and Tremont Waters. Carsen Edwards could also step in at point guard, but he’s not really known for his abilities to run the show on offense.
To make matters worse, the Celtics will be playing against talented young guard De’Aaron Fox. The fourth-year pro is enjoying a career-year for the Kings, averaging 22 points and 6.4 assists per game. He’s coming off a 38-point game Monday night against the Pelicans where he hit 14 of his 24 attempts while dishing out 12 assists. He’s scored at least 20 points in 14 of his 20 games this season. He’s going to be quite the handful for Boston on Wednesday night.
Teague could get his third start of the season in Sacramento, but he has been in a big slump since an impressive opening night performance for the Celtics. The veteran is shooting just 33 percent overall in 17 games, and his two-point field goal percentage sits at just 30 percent. Teague is averaging just five points off 33 percent shooting over his last 10 games.READ MORE: Worcester Businesses Hope WooSox Help Them Bounce Back From COVID Pandemic
If Stevens wants to preserve what little continuity he can off the bench, he could turn to Waters, who has played in just six games this season. Waters did make a spot start against Toronto, but he has mostly played in garbage time. He was the G-League Rookie of the Year last season, but is shooting just 29 percent with Boston this season. Waters also hasn’t played since a blowout win over the Cavaliers on Jan. 24, when he finished with two points and three turnovers over 12 minutes of action.
Neither are very appetizing options for Stevens, who may have to turn to Jayson Tatum to play a point-forward role for one night.
The good news is that Pritchard is essentially considered day-to-day at this point, so the rookie should be back to filling his important role on the Boston bench sometime soon. He could even be back on Friday night when the Celtics visit the Clippers.MORE NEWS: TD Garden Capacity Increases As Bruins Head Into Playoffs
But that won’t help Stevens as he tries to juggle a depleted guard group on Wednesday night.