No Jayson Tatum. No Jaylen Brown. No Enes Kanter. No problem against the No. 7 team in the East?
And the Magic entered Friday 13-9 at home in 2019-20. With those three out, it wouldn’t have been stunning if the Celtics lost by 11. Instead, it was the inverse.
With the 109-98 win, the Celtics should consider giving Tatum and Brown another night off — Kanter didn’t travel to Orlando and isn’t heading to New Orleans, either. (For a complete recap of the Celtics' win, click here.)
First reason being, Boston stole a game they should’ve lost given the slew of injuries. That doesn’t mean the C’s can throw away a game. They need all the help they can get to climb back to the second spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
But the Celtics are always about the big picture.
So, a big picture move would be to give two of your best players an extra day to recover from what could easily become nagging injuries. Plus, it’d be more beneficial for the Celtics to have Tatum and Brown fresh for their game in Miami on Tuesday. That game directly impacts one of the teams ahead of the Celtics in the standings, and Boston needs their top guys at their best in those big games.
“It’s nice. It’s nice when you see — when guys just come in and bring you energy,” Walker said of the Celtics bench. “And tonight, the way they did it, it was perfect timing.”
“Ross killed us last year, all three games,” Brad Stevens told reporters in Orlando. “So we talked to Javonte this morning about, ‘Tatum (is) probably out, Jaylen might be out. You need to be ready to guard (Ross) as hard as you can.’ He spent all day watching extra and preparing extra, and that’s what you have to do.
Give Green and some of these other guys extra time again on Sunday. Let’s see who can earn the chance to play significant minutes against a tough Miami team — and, in the process, give Tatum and Brown a little extra time off.