While the Boston Celtics will be without their starting point guard for at least one more game, Jaylen Brown is probable to return after missing Monday night’s win against the Detroit Pistons with a non-COVID illness. Luke Kornet also missed that game with a left ankle sprain. While Robert Williams did play on Monday, he appeared to tweak his ankle late in the game. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal as he’s listed as probable.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs. Philadelphia:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 7, 2023
Jaylen Brown (illness, non-COVID) - PROBABLE
Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) - OUT
Luke Kornet (left ankle sprain) - PROBABLE
Marcus Smart (right ankle sprain) - OUT
Robert Williams (left ankle sprain) - PROBABLE
And it’s a good thing that Williams is listed as probable, considering that the Celtics will be taking on the Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. While Rob Williams hasn’t always been super effective guarding Embiid one-on-one, his presence on the weak side for timely doubles tends to push Embiid into forcing turnovers. Additionally, he helps deter other players on the Sixers from the rim. His presence (along with Al Horford) will help tremendously as Boston tries to hold off a Sixers team that’s been more hot than cold in the last month+.
Marcus Smart has been day-to-day for about three weeks now, but as time goes on, it does seem like we’re going to hit the All-Star break without him being in uniform, making over month of inaction. It’s better now than late in the season. While the team’s offense has fallen off a cliff since Smart’s been out, the Celtics have still produced a 58-win pace over its last 20 or so games. It’s a testament to how great the team looked early in the season and when healthy to where a drop off without Smart feels like the end of the word while still at nearly a 60-win pace. Clearly, Marcus Smart helps!
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will surely take the lead in facing off against James Harden and Embiid, but Derrick White has sneakily had his best stretch as a Celtic of late, scoring in double figures in each game since Smart went down. The Celtics are 19-4 when White plays more than 28 minutes, so they’ll hope to add to that win total tomorrow night against Philadelphia.
The Boston Celtics take on the third-place Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.