Posted on: February 10, 2023, 08:41h.
Last updated on: February 10, 2023, 12:24h.
Jaylen Brown, the starting guard/small forward for the Boston Celtics, is expected to miss the All-Star Game due to an unfortunate injury. He’s out indefinitely with a facial fracture. But the Celtics have a deep bench and should be able to withstand Brown’s absence.
The Celtics were missing three key players in a divisional game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday evening before Brown exited the game late in the first half with an injury. Point guard Marcus Smart missed the previous seven games because of a sprained ankle. Center Robert Williams III is also nursing a sprained ankle, and big man Al Horford sat out because of knee soreness.
Brown didn’t play in the entire second half. But the short-handed Celtics still defeated the 76ers by 17 points in a 116-99 victory.
Tatum and Brown in Freak Collision
Brown collided with Celtics forward Jayson Tatum late in the second quarter. With less than two minutes to go in the first half, Brown missed a 3-point shot from the corner and chased down the rebound. Tatum also went after the ball, but didn’t see Brown. During the collision, Brown caught an errant elbow from Tatum and fell to the hardwood.
We both went for the rebound, collided, just a freak accident,” said Tatum. “I feel terrible. So, I just hope he’s going to be all right.”
“He was quiet,” said teammate Malcolm Brogdon. “He was in a lot of pain. Just told him to feel better.”
Brown exited the game and went to the locker room. The Celtics updated his injury as a facial contusion. He missed the second half and didn’t return to the game.
Brown underwent testing on Thursday and was diagnosed with a facial fracture. He will meet with specialists on Friday to determine the length of his recovery. In the meantime, he’s out indefinitely, and most likely will miss the All-Star Game next weekend.
Brown has been named to the All-Star Game for the second time in the last three seasons. He averaged a career-best 26.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this season. He was shooting a career-high 48.7% from the floor, even though he struggled with a career-low 33.1% from 3-point range.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 9, 2023
Deep Bench in Beantown
The Celtics have a trio of guards ready to fill in for Brown until he recovers from his injury. Brogdon and Derrick White are already major contributors. But the Celtics also have Payton Pritchard in reserve.
White started 47 games this season, averaging 10.9 points and 3.5 assists per game. He’s shooting 38% from 3-point range.
Brogdon, in his first season with the Celtics, settled into his role as the sixth man. He’s the team’s third-best scorer, averaging 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. He leads the Celtics in 3-point shooting with an impressive 45.6% from downtown.
Pritchard, a third-year point guard from Oregon, averages 4.5 points per game this season. His playing time decreased after the Celtics added Brogdon in the off-season. But he has a chance to get a boost in playing time with Smart and Brown out. He shot 41% from 3-point range in his first two seasons with the Celtics, but connected on only 33% of his treys this season.
After their victory over the 76ers, the Celtics retained first place in the Eastern Conference with the best record in the NBA at 39-16. They also held on to first place in the Atlantic Division, opening a four-game lead over the 76ers (34-19).
The Celtics are the consensus favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA championship after the trade deadline expired on Thursday afternoon. The Celtics are +350 odds to win the title, according to an update by DraftKings. They’re also +150 odds to win the Eastern Conference in back-to-back seasons and return to the NBA Finals.
The Celtics are -2500 odd to win the Atlantic Division, and the 76ers are their closest rival at +800 odds.