ORLANDO — Jayson Tatum didn’t reveal his left wrist fracture until an offseason interview with Taylor Rooks. He still won’t say it limits him on the floor, but after indicating earlier this month Brad Stevens and the Celtics’ brass would try to make him take a night off sometime this season, he did in Toronto due to the lingering injury.
He doesn’t foresee missing significant time with it.
“It’s kind of just talking with Nick (Sang) about how my body was feeling,” Tatum told CelticsBlog/CLNS Media. “Those 50 minutes the other night didn’t necessarily help, and a couple of falls on my wrist, but I think the extra day off helped me out a lot.”
It’s possible Tatum will need surgery next summer, but he didn’t want to confirm or deny the best treatment before he and the team decide on one. For now, rest and management will help him play day-to-day as falls like one he took against Golden State aggravate it.
Sang, one the Celtics’ athletic trainers who mainly works with Tatum, tapes his ring and thumb fingers between and during each game. A fan caught Tatum wincing during the win at Brooklyn earlier this month as Sang applied treatment, with the tape seemingly piling higher each week. Tatum joked after that game it’ll probably require a conversation with Brad Stevens to make him sit out.
“(We’re) just finding different ways to make sure it’s secure, but flexible where I can still do what I need to do,” Tatum said.
The Celtics proved they could win without Tatum, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III and Derrick White late in Toronto by pulling away late from a team that built an early 11-point lead on Boston.
Payton Pritchard, Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon shined, and Al Horford held down the paint defensively in Williams III’s absence. Performances like those and a growing 4.5 game lead in the east likely provide inspiration to the team that their stars can rest in the second half of the season without sacrificing wins.Smart (ankle) and Brogdon (personal) are out tonight.
Williams III will likely to sit the front end and Horford the back end of the back-to-back between Orlando and Miami on Monday and Tuesday. Joe Mazzulla said Williams III’s hyperextended left knee isn’t serious, and his second half absence was precautionary. He previously confirmed Williams III won’t play back-to-backs this year.
“I had to tape my middle finger and ring finger together. I got a lot of s*** going on,” Tatum said in Brooklyn. “But that played a part just lingering things and it was uncomfortable tonight. But I love to play too much to sit out … I remember I hurt it against (Philadelphia). So I’ve been taping it ever since.”