With much of the playoff seedings still in doubt in both conferences heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Celtics start a back-to-back in Minneapolis today and Madison Square Garden tomorrow afternoon with nothing on the line.
The Celtics are .500 and are locked in as the 7-seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ll host the 8-seed on Tuesday night with the Hornets, Pacers, and Wizards still in play to be in Boston on May 18th.
So, with only a losing record for 2020-2021 at stake, Boston will look like they have for much of the regular season vs. the Timberwolves: banged up and missing key players. The Celtics injury report was so long it two tweets to fit everybody on it.
The expected names are Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams. Brown is out for the rest of the season after having successful wrist surgery on Monday to repair a torn left scapholunate ligament. He’s expected to return to basketball activities in three months. Williams is still dealing with a pesky left turf toe that has forced him to miss three out of the last four games; so far, a cortisone shot has yet to reduce the inflammation.
With the play-in tournament in mind, the Celtics will rest Kemba Walker (left cervical nerve irritation), Tristan Thompson (left pectoral strain), and Marcus Smart (right calf contusion). Jayson Tatum and Evan Fournier are probable, but will most likely be under a minutes limitation.