The 2019-20 Boston Celtics took a good, long look at the 2017-18 Hospital Celtics, thinking “What if we did the same thing, but bigger?” And that’s why this year’s team has found it near-impossible to stay healthy all year. Boston has lost countless (and by countless, I mean completely quantifiable) players to health-related maladies, and the latest victim is Boston’s star point guard, Kemba Walker.
Kemba Walker is OUT for the Celtics tonight vs the Hawks due to the flu.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 3, 2020
Boston has recalled Tremont Waters from Maine for tonight’s game. Carsten Edwards will stay with the Red Claws and will meet the Celtics in Chicago tomorrow.
Marcus Smart missed 8 games with a left eye infection that almost robbed him of his eyesight permanently. Jaylen Brown was ill earlier this week, which was reported just moments after he was announced to be the Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week. Outside of the illness realm, Gordon Hayward missed a huge chunk of the season due to a broken hand, and he then followed that up with nerve pain in this foot. Robert Williams has missed a long stretch of time due to a bone edema (this list is starting to get ridiculous, and this is only, like, half of the health issues from this year).
The only logical conclusion is that the Celtics are trying to find new ways to recreate the magic of that Hospital Celtics team. After all, that was the last time the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals, so it’s only natural that they’d want to go back to a winning formula. The good thing is that so far, just like in 2017-18, the team is weathering the storm and holding onto a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics have the third-best record in the NBA as well as the second-best record in the East, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. All they need to do is . . . you know . . . get healthy.
Hopefully, the Walker situation won’t spiral into a major issue like it did for Marcus Smart. Expect the latter to start in the former’s place as the Celtics tip off against the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:00 PM EST.