Pregame Post-Ups: C’s Return from Hiatus, 12 Bodies Available Tonight
Friday, January 15 - Magic at Celtics
Pregame – C’s Return from Hiatus, 12 Bodies Available vs. Magic
Boston’s weeklong hiatus from NBA basketball is finally over, as the Celtics are set to return to TD Garden Friday night.
Over the past seven days, the C’s have seen more than half of their players enter the league’s health and safety protocols, which forced the NBA to postpone three of their games and also resulted in a temporary shutdown of their practice facility.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Celtics would have exactly the required minimum of eight players available for Friday night’s matchup against the Orlando Magic. Then on Friday afternoon, four players who had been listed as “questionable” on the injury report – Jaylen Brown, Javonte Green, Semi Ojeleye, and Daniel Theis – were all cleared to return, giving the C’s 12 healthy bodies.
Brad Stevens touched upon the unpredictable buildup to Friday night’s game ahead of tip-off, noting how the team practiced with eight healthy bodies Thursday with the mindset that they would be the only ones available. That changed, however, when Brown, Green, Ojeleye, and Theis were cleared to play after undergoing extra testing Friday afternoon, prompting Stevens to call for a late walkthrough to help bring those guys back up to speed.
“Obviously we wanted to push that (walkthrough) back so that we’d have as much time as possible for a walk-through,” Stevens said. “So in a lot of ways this is just like you’d be preparing for one day in between or even like a back-to-back for a game.”
“As far as the week goes,” the coach continued, “everybody’s been able to do what they can do. I think everybody has different rules depending on whether you’re a positive test, or you were a contact trace, or you were not in that group. Everybody had different rules and restrictions on what they could do and can’t do. But everybody did as well as they can.”
Stevens added that he “won’t push anybody’s minutes beyond their limits tonight,” given that the entire team has had a relatively inactive week. But he’s just thankful that they are able to play any minutes at all.
“We’re all, very grateful to be here and get a chance to play and compete,” Stevens said. “We’ve got 12 and we’ll look forward to putting our best foot forward with this group.”
- Taylor Snow