After missing practice yesterday due to illness, Gordon Hayward returned to the Auerbach Center on the eve of the Boston Celtics’ 2019-20 regular season debut to rejoin his teammates. Hayward’s return also coincided with some additional news for the rest of the team:
#NEBHInjuryReport Gordon Hayward (illness) practiced today. Robert Williams (concussion protocol) is likely to play tomorrow. Romeo Langford (knee pain) will not be available to play. Tacko Fall went through most of practice, but practice included minimal contact.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 22, 2019
Robert Williams III left the preseason finale against Cleveland early into the game after getting hit in the head, and he was placed into the NBA’s concussion protocol. Williams III has spent more time in the limelight throughout the preseason of this pivotal second season, and he figures to be a big part of the rotation against certain opponents. While he still has a way to go defensively in his development, Boston will need his big body against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on opening night.
While it seems that Daniel Theis appears to have a hold on the starting center spot on most matchup, I’m of the opinion that Robert Williams (or maybe even Vincent Poirier) will get the nod against the bigger and heavier center opponents. For that reason, we might get an extended look at Robert Williams tomorrow night as the Celtics travel to Philly.
Romeo Langford will be inactive, but even if he wasn’t dealing with knee pain, it’s unlikely that he would have seen the floor outside of garbage time. The games are going to count now, so Langford will have to earn his way onto the floor. He’s talented, but missing almost all of preseason presents a hurdle for him to jump into the rotation.
Tacko Fall – who was somehow hit in the head despite his, uh, tallness – and Tremont Waters can spend up until October 28th with the team without having it count toward their 45-day limit as Two-Way players, but they’ll likely be inactive. Fall is still recovering, so I doubt he’ll see the floor if he makes the active roster tomorrow.
We’re finally here, folks. Buckle up for another exciting Celtics season!