Pregame Post-Ups: Brown, Morris Out vs. Mavs

Wednesday, Dec. 6 - Mavericks at Celtics

Pregame – Brown, Morris Out vs. Mavericks

The Boston Celtics will take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight without the services of two of their top rotation players.

The C’s announced late this morning that Marcus Morris would miss tonight’s game to rehab his ailing left knee. About two and a half hours before tip-off, the team also announced that Jaylen Brown would not be able to suit up because of an inflamed right eye.

Morris’ injury has been lingering since preseason, though he has still been able to play through most of the season. Coach Brad Stevens said the veteran forward was feeling a bit more pain than normal this morning, however, so the training staff decided to have him rest.

“Most days after a game he’s got some soreness,” Stevens said ahead of tip-off at TD Garden. “Most of the time that’s gone by the time the 36-hour mark hits; but today he was still a little bit sore, so we thought that it would be best for him to sit out tonight as we prepare for quite a stretch of games coming up.”

The news of Brown’s injury, a non-basketball-related affliction, was more of a surprise.

“When he woke up he basically couldn’t open [his eye],” said Stevens. “It was swollen. It just sounds like an inflamed cornea, probably from contacts. Anybody that’s worn contacts – I know I have – has probably been there.”

“He was hurtin’,” added the coach, “but it should be hopefully better by late tonight or early tomorrow morning.”

Despite the injuries, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle expects the Celtics to present a great challenge for his squad, which has won four of its last six games following a 3-15 start.

“They’re very deep,” said Carlisle. “To me, [those injuries] just mean that the ball is going to be in (Kyrie) Irving and (Al) Horford’s hands more, most likely. Those guys are two good players, but they have a lot of depth over there. They’re doing a good job of developing young players; (Semi) Ojeleye, (Terry) Rozier, (Marcus) Smart, all these guys are capable of stepping into the starting lineup. So we’re going to have to play our best game regardless of who’s out there.”

Smart will get the start in place of Brown, and Aron Baynes will get the nod to start next to Horford in the frontcourt.

Brown and Morris are both expected to fly tomorrow with the team to San Antonio, where Boston will begin a three-game road trip.

- Taylor Snow