From his aching right shoulder to a strained right thumb that was surgically repaired two years ago, Marcus Smart had many reasons for missing Monday’s game against Toronto in Tampa.
« He just had a scan on that thumb and it didn’t look bad at first, but we have to be smart because it’s the one that was fixed a few years ago, » said coach Brad Stevens, who also did entered the game without Jeff Teague, who sprained his left ankle in Detroit on Sunday.
This gave Tremont Waters, last year’s NBA G-League Rookie of the Year, the opportunity to compete against Toronto’s championship backcourt of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. Payton Pritchard, the big Celtics surprise this season, also played some particularly big minutes.
« I think this is a time we need to find out, especially with Smart out and how good Lowry and VanVleet are. We need to figure out how to manage the entire 48 minutes, « said Stevens.
“Not just from the standpoint of guarding these guys, but also from the standpoint of insulting them. This is a great defensive team that we are preparing against. Both guys are going to get shots whether they’re starting or coming off the bench, whatever. It’s more about how much we need which stroke at what point in the game. ”
Javonte Green, who was eliminated under the league’s safety protocol program, will be absent from the team in Miami on Wednesday.
“Javonte is on the road the whole trip. We hope to have him back at the end of the trip, ”said Stevens. « But I think even in the new scenario we’re already headed in, I don’t think he could hit us based on how everything is. So but I think he’ll be ready to go when we get back. ”
Jayson Tatum now has two game winners this season and shoots that type of shot as often as anyone else in the league.
According to the Pro Basketball Reference, Tatum is 3v6 if he attempts to score a game-winning shot in the last five seconds of a game. Chicago’s Zach LaVine is 3-7 and five other players have fired two such shots. … Another PBR nugget: “Steph Curry’s 62-point performance against Portland on Sunday was the third highest total by a player without being called for a foul in league history. Of the six best appearances on the list, five belong to one man – Wilt Chamberlain. ”
As a temporary team in Florida, the Raptors are allowed to have fans at games, which is why a limited number took part in the Celtics game.
« This is the first time we play in front of fans. There were some family members who were allowed on the upper levels in Indiana and Detroit. We don’t even have that in Boston, ”said Stevens. « So it’s the first time we’ve had fans in the crowd, which is a bit unique, isn’t it? It’s not going to be like playing up there. They are some of the best fans in the league and some of the loudest fans in the league, but we also don’t have the advantage of playing in front of our eyes. I think that probably makes up for it all. It’s pretty interesting that this is our first time playing in front of fans here in Florida in Tampa. ”
Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Marcus Smart, NBA, Jeff Teague, Jayson Tatum, Eastern Conference
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