With the Eastern Conference set to begin its play-in tournament Tuesday, the four participating teams released their injury reports Monday night. While Boston, Charlotte and Washington didn’t have many names on their reports, the same can’t be said for Indiana. With there being no games played Monday, this edition of the Daily Dose will focus on the injury report, beginning with Boston’s starting center.
The Time Lord is listed as probable for Tuesday
With Washington going three deep at the center position, Boston would be best served to have each of its three bigs available for Tuesday’s play-in tournament matchup. While Tristan Thompson and Luke Kornet have no injury concerns, that has not been the case for Robert Williams, the Celtics’ most talented big. Williams has been dealing with a case of turf toe in his left foot, sitting out five of Boston’s final six regular season games. But there was good news on the team’s injury report Monday night, as the Time Lord is listed as probable. Williams’ athleticism and shot-blocking ability could potentially be an issue for the Wizards, even though their ability to match up with bigs boasting those attributes improved once they acquired Daniel Gafford from the Bulls.
Outside of Williams and Jaylen Brown, who’s out for the season after undergoing left wrist surgery, Boston’s injury report was all clear. Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart weren’t on it and, in the case of the latter, that means that he had a good day at practice. Smart missed Boston’s final three regular season games. It appears to be “all systems go” there, as Smart said on Monday that he was “feeling great.” That’s good news for Boston, as they need to match up with both Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
Wizards’ Beal absent from injury report
Speaking of Beal, he was not listed after making his return from a three-game absence in Sunday’s win over the Hornets. Back from a strained left hamstring, Beal was able to play 35 minutes Sunday afternoon, and after a cold start be scored 20 second-half points. The runner-up for the scoring title, Beal absolutely torched the Celtics in the teams’ three regular season meetings. With two 40-point efforts, Beal averaged 40.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 3.7 3-pointers per game, while shooting 55.3% from the field and 96.4% from the foul line. It feels safe to assume that Smart will be the primary defender of Beal Tuesday night, but what happens if he gets in early foul trouble?
As may be the case with the aforementioned Westbrook, this feels like an “all hands on deck” job for the Celtics. Asking one man to neutralize Beal for 35 minutes (or more) feels unrealistic, given how well he played throughout the season. The lone question mark for Washington injury-wise is Raul Neto, who’s listed as probable due to a strained left hamstring.
If he’s cleared to play it will be interesting to see what Scott Brooks does. Davis Bertans started the two games that Neto missed, posting totals of 28 points (8-of-20 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), four rebounds, one steal and six 3-pointers. The good news for Washington was that they received solid production from their reserves in wins over the Cavaliers (58 bench points) and Hornets (40 bench points), which helped the team account for the production lost due to Bertans’ “promotion.”
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Pacers’ injury report chock full of question marks
Indiana had the longest injury report of the four teams set to play Tuesday, with three players (T.J. Warren, Myles Turner and Jeremy Lamb) ruled out and four others listed as questionable. The biggest name of those four is Domantas Sabonis, who’s dealing with a bruised left quad. He was able to play 39 minutes in Sunday’s win over the Raptors and was quite effective, accounting for 25 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one 3-pointer.
While the fact that he didn’t attempt a free throw in that game wasn’t great, far more concerning was Sabonis’ six turnovers. In three regular season meeting with the Hornets, Sabonis averaged just under four per game. That’s something to keep an eye on Tuesday night, especially with Charlotte’s ability to make teams pay when given the opportunity to score in transition.
Malcolm Brodgon, who hasn’t played since April 29 due to a sore left hamstring, is also listed as questionable. He’ll be a game-time decision Tuesday night, and given the amount of time missed and the location of the injury, it’s fair to question just how productive he’ll be if cleared to play. Aaron Holiday (right great to sprain) and Edmond Sumner (left knee contusion) are also listed as questionable, with both having missed the Pacers’ last four games.
While Caris LeVert, Justin Holiday and T.J. McConnell did most of the heavy lifting for the Pacers’ backcourt down the stretch, Kelan Martin gave them some good minutes off the bench. Hitting double figures in four of Indiana’s last five games, Martin averaged 14.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.6 3-pointers in 22.9 minutes per game during that stretch.
Nothing’s changed for the Hornets injury-wise
There were only two names on Charlotte’s injury report: Gordon Hayward (right foot sprain) and Cody Martin (left ankle sprain). While Martin has missed the Hornets’ last eight games, Hayward hasn’t played since April 2. At the time of his injury it was announced that Hayward would be re-evaluated in four weeks, and he was cleared for weight-bearing work just over a week ago. But weight-bearing work and on-court activities are two entirely different things, and that doesn’t even take contact into consideration. This feels like a situation in which the Hornets would need to play deep into the playoffs in order to get Hayward back this season.
Miles Bridges, who missed six games earlier this month due to health and safety protocols, played well in Hayward’s absence. In 17 games before he himself had to sit, Bridges averaged 19.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers per, while shooting 52.6% from the field and 82.0% from the foul line. And in his first game back from the protocol-induced absence, Bridges pumped in 30 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in Saturday’s loss to the Knicks. While Charlotte still has offensive firepower (most notably Terry Rozier) with Hayward sidelined, they’d welcome a similar performance from Bridges Tuesday night.
Published: 2021-05-18 04:15:52
Tags: #Boston #Time #Lord #Tuesday #night