The Boston Celtics will be without their MVP candidate Jayson Tatum tomorrow afternoon in Toronto as the team will take on the Raptors. Tatum played a team-high 48 minutes last night in the win against the Golden State Warriors, and he didn’t sit for one second of game time after the first quarter ended. Posting 34 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, it’s fair to say he earned the rest. Tatum and Danilo Gallinari (who’s basically out for the season) are the only two players on the injury report.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs. Toronto:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 20, 2023
Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) - OUT
Jayson Tatum (left wrist soreness) - OUT
Tatum was rough when it came to protecting the ball and shooting efficiency last night (7 turnovers and 33.3% shooting from the field), but his defense and rebounding along with getting to the line made up for it, making him the first Celtic player to notch that statline ever. His absence will definitely be felt, but as the league leader in total minutes since he was drafted in 2017, the Celtics will take any rest they can get from Tatum, who hates sitting out games when healthy.
The Toronto Raptors aren’t exactly setting the league on fire as they approach the trade deadline with a 20-26 record, but the Celtics can’t afford to be too relaxed as they take their 8-game winning streak along with the best record in the league north of the border. Tatum’s absence does highlight a hole in the roster that may be worth addressing near the deadline and in buyout season: the lack of bench wings. Derrick White can fill in, but with Sam Hauser in a shooting slump, it would be good to have more options beyond Justin Jackson so that Tatum and Jaylen Brown can comfortably take rest days in the second half of the season.
Speaking of Jaylen Brown, after a rough shooting start, he was integral down the stretch after making his return from an adductor injury. His absence from the injury report suggests that no setbacks occurred in his return to action last night.
The 34-12 Boston Celtics will take on the 20-26 Toronto Raptors tomorrow afternoon as they seek to extend their winning streak to 9 games.