Yesterday, the Boston Celtics had a practically clean injury report ahead of tonight’s rematch against the Los Angeles Clippers. Today, two players woke up sick, and the head coach is still questionable after a cut to the eye that left him unable to coach on Tuesday night in the win against the Houston Rockets.
#NEBHInjuryReport update:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 29, 2022
Malcolm Brogdon (illness, non-COVID) - QUESTIONABLE
Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) - OUT
Blake Griffin (illness, non-COVID) - QUESTIONABLE
The Celtics have had a bit of a run-in with seasonal illnesses this month. Marcus Smart had a non-COVID illness for a few days, leading to him missing a game. Additionally, Robert Williams caught the bug, leading to his presence on the injury report after recovering from offseason surgery for his knee. Now, Malcolm Brogdon’s presence tonight is in doubt.
While Blake Griffin made an appearance on Christmas Day against the Milwaukee Bucks, given the Clippers’ personnel, I would say it’s unlikely that he’ll play even if he proves healthy enough to go. The Clippers have a very small, wing-heavy team. Ivica Zubac is their only consistent center in the rotation, while briefly former Celtic Moses Brown is also on the roster. LA frequently puts out lineups that have players like Marcus Morris and Nicolas Batum at the center position, so it’s unlikely that Griffin’s absence would greatly affect the rotation tonight.
As for Coach Joe Mazzulla, if his eye injury (sustained in a pickup game) does not improve, Damon Stoudemire is likely to pick up the position as he did against the Rockets on Tuesday. It would be good to be at full capacity since the Clippers are one of the better teams in the Western Conference. In the last matchup, the Celtics weren’t at full strength. Now? This might be a Finals preview.
The league-leading Celtics and the Clippers tip off tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.