The Boston Celtics will be without two of their primary guards in their rotation when they face off against the Orlando Magic on Monday, January 23. Robert Williams has been listed as questionable for the game, per the Celtics' recent injury report.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs. Orlando:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 22, 2023
Malcolm Brogdon (personal reasons) - OUT
Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) - OUT
Marcus Smart (right ankle sprain) - OUT
Robert Williams (left knee injury management) - QUESTIONABLE
On January 21, as the Celtics faced the Toronto Raptors, both Smart and Williams left the game after taking knocks and didn’t return for the rest of the contest. Luckily, according to Joe Mazzulla, neither player’s injury was anything serious, and their removal from the rotation was precautionary.
“Rob hyperextended his knee...It’s nothing serious, just obviously taking precaution. He felt good coming off the court. Smart, obviously you saw, sprained his ankle. X-Rays were negative. It’s just a matter of how he’s able to cope with it day-to-day,” Mazzulla said post-game.
Smart has been playing at an all-career level this season, both as a scorer and facilitator, and has established himself as a steadying factor within the Celtics rotation. As such, his absence, when coupled with Brogdon’s (who has been playing his best basketball of the season in recent weeks), will likely hit the Celtics hard. Fortunately, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard are both capable and reliable deputies who Joe Mazzulla can call upon.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the Magic will be buoyed by the return of Jonathan Issac, who hasn’t stepped foot on an NBA floor since the 2019-20 season. Of course, Orlando will also be full of confidence as they face off against the Celtics, having defeated them on back-to-back occasions in mid-December in what was a barren run of results for Mazzulla’s team.
Orlando has lost four of their last six games, while the Celtics are currently on a 9-game unbeaten run, having not lost since their January 4 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Still, without two of their best guards and potentially their best rim protector, the Magic will be a stern opponent standing in front of the Celtics making it a cool ten games undefeated.