The injury plague has begun.
Daniel Theis will undergo season-ending injury (torn meniscus):
Depth has been a problem all year for the Celtics, but we were finally starting to see a bright side with our second-unit and role players showing up to win. This will not help our progress.
Theis was a key player putting a lot on the floor for Boston. His defensive capabilities against various different playstyles helped the Celtics on the defensive side. He is most dangerous against a small ball lineup, but can also match up against bigger players. He was progressing quite nicely, being just a rookie, and was putting up nice numbers. He fits nicely in Stevens’ system and he will be missed on the court.
“One of the reasons we wanted to sign Greg was because you never know what can happen with your depth inside, but then there have been times where we’ve played smaller with Theis at the 5, and he’s been able to switch and do some of those types of things. So, you might see Semi (Ojeleye) out there a little bit, kind of á la the Summer League stints where he guarded more of the skilled 5s and was able to move his feet on switches and really use his athleticism.” – Brad Stevens
Stevens himself said we will see Monroe and Ojeleye playing more on the court. We have a bit more depth in the frontcourt, so we should see a little more creativity in terms of the roster from Brad Stevens. Theis earned himself a spot on that second unit, and this void has to be filled by someone who can do what Theis can.
And I think we’re all excited to see Yabu join the team from the G League. He’s a player who can hype up the crowd and bring some energy to the team with the “bow and arrow dab”. He will most likely see some more playing time.
So, does this injury impact the team? Yes and I would say it impacts the team more than people believe, because Theis brings a lot to the table.
Kyrie Irving to miss a few games (knee soreness)
Is this a big deal? No, it can’t be right? He’s the best player on our team! We were going to get to the finals with some Kyrie Playoff Magic.
Some experts disagree.
Just listening to the radio today, I heard all five of the broadcasters say Kyrie’s injury will impact the team in a much bigger way than anyone expects. They even went as far to saying the Celtics will be a first round upset.
Is this a real possibility? It totally could be. Kyrie’s knee has been a problem. It is what he reportedly threatened the Cavs with so they could trade him. It has been bothering him all season. For a player who bases his game on agility and torque from that knee, this could be a real problem.
Many are saying Kyrie is not even in his prime, but with the knee wearing down, he may not be able to play the game he’s playing right now.
The team doctors are not saying the injury is not very serious, but for the future of the team, it could be.
The team also has trouble producing any offense when Kyrie is not on the floor. The third quarter of the Celtics Pacers game is a clear example of this. They were up 10 and managed to allow the Pacers to get a four point lead (the Pacers would get a nine point lead in the fourth quarter). They only scored 20 points without Kyrie. They managed to catch up with the Pacers in the fourth quarter, but just had trouble scoring.
Is this a bit of an overreaction? Maybe, but these are very valid concerns.
Marcus Smart out “indefinitely” (hand):
He tore a tendon in his right thumb, and it’s basically because of his aggressiveness. He was diving for the ball and hurt his hand in the process. Marcus sacrificed his body for the play and this time, paid for it.
The part which is mostly scaring everyone (who doesn’t hate Smart) is the word “indefinitely”, meaning there is no time table right now. It does not mean his season is over, just that he is not completely sure when he can return. He is getting a second opinion, so we should know soon enough.
Fans already know how much his presence on the court will be missed. He is our best defensive player and most aggressive player (this is not even arguable). He does the dirty work for the team and we know how much we need him, just based on the stretch of games where he injured his hand for the first team. He’s an important player, and that’s a fact.
Jaylen Brown (Concussion):
There’s nothing really to say here. He’ll be back. But, this was a scary fall from a potential NBA great (in my opinion).
These injuries are really hurting the team. The Celtics are having trouble producing points without these key players. Rest will be huge for our star players, especially for the playoffs, and hopefully we can get that DEEP playoff run the Celtics have been gunning for!