The injury report for the Boston Celtics ahead of the matchup against the San Antonio Spurs looked promising until realizing that they snuck in “Payton Pritchard (Health and Safety Protocols) – Out” in there.
Payton Pritchard downgraded to out for tonight. https://t.co/84RQeC7PUr— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 5, 2022
That’s a big blow for Pritchard especially because of his play over recent weeks. He’s emerged as a player who improved after an impressive rookie season as opposed to the hesitant player he started the season out as. Pritchard’s ability to space the floor seveeral feet behind the 3-point line has been helpful for a team desperate for spacing, and although there’s been a minute crunch at the PG position, he basically started making it impossible for the Celtics not to play him. This is unfortunate timing.
Fortunately, that’s the extent of the really bad news. Brodric Thomas, on a two-way contract, remains out with low back pain. Besides that, good news across the board. Romeo Langford was questionable with a non-COVID illness, and he’s available now. Aaron Nesmith curiously was taken out of protocols and put back into it, awaiting two negative tests in recent days. It appears he’s done so, and he’s ready to go tonight as well.
Robert Williams had a right big toe sprain, forcing him to miss Sunday night’s game against the Orlando Magic after a career performance against the Phoenix Suns in which he notched a triple-double. His return means that Boston’s starting lineup is finally back together for the first time in a while.
Now it’s time to see if that lineup should be tweaked.
The Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST.