With seven games left in the regular season and the Celtics currently seeded in the play-in tournament, the end of the Boston-Portland game on Sunday night could not have looked worse. Not only were they ont the verge of losing in a shootout, the Celtics All-Stars collided trying to generate a turnover on a Trail Blazers’ inbound pass. Jaylen Brown either stepped on Norman Powell’s foot or vice versa and subsequently, Brown kicked Tatum in the shin.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both leave the game after a collision at the end of the game pic.twitter.com/IVDUL2nM0S— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 3, 2021
Tatum would leave the floor under his own power, but Brown needed help from two Celtics staffers to head back to the locker room. It appeared as though he had twisted the right ankle that had him questionable before tip off. Now, according to The Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, there’s internal optimism that Brown has avoided a significant injury. After the game, Evan Fornier said that neither Brown or Tatum “seemed particularly concerned” after crashing into each other.
We won’t get official word until tomorrow’s practice (the team has a day off during a rare two-day break between games), but it’s promising to hear that Brown isn’t seriously hurt. He’s dealt with the occasional injury bug — missing consecutive games in February with knee tendonitis and a handful last month with shoulder bursitis — but for the most part, he’s been a rugged warrior during this trying 2020-2021 season.