The Boston Celtics, currently in the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, got devastating news for a potential playoff run. The team announced Monday that star guard Jaylen Brown will have to get surgery on a torn ligament which will cause him to miss the rest of the regular season.
In his fifth season with the Celtics, Brown has played fifty-eight games this year, averaging 24.7 Points Per Game, 6.0 Rebounds, and 3.4 Assists. As the regular season concludes this week, this is a big blow for the Celtics beyond playing the most games for the team this season. Brown is also the team’s second-leading scorer behind Forward Jayson Tatum, who averages 26.3 points per game.
The other issue caused by Brown’s departure from the lineup as it is only Brown and Tatum who average over twenty points per game and the big question who can fill the void left by Brown in point production. The Celtics have really one option that can help out the ball club in the final stretch of the season. That would be Kemba Walker; he has played forty-two games on the season and averages 18.9 points per game. He is potentially the best option in point production to fill Brown’s role as a major contributor to the offense. He leads the team in free throw percentage with 90.9%. He is the best option to help the offense as he is only 5.8 points off of Brown’s Points Per Game mark, and if he can step up on offense, the Celtics could maybe be a threat in the NBA Playoffs.
The Celtics will have to make a major decision in how they will construct the lineup without Brown. In the final stretch of the regular season, the team will face two teams in playoff contention and two entirely out of the playoff picture.
The test begins Tuesday night when they take on the Miami Heat, who currently hold the sixth seed, and the Celtics are two games back of not having to play in the play-in tournament. The next two games for the Celtics beyond Tuesday night are with teams who have already been eliminated from the playoff picture as on Wednesday the Celtics travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers, and then Saturday taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves. These two contests give the Celtics time to try out new rotation options before the season finale against the New York Knicks Sunday and the start of the NBA Playoffs.
The Celtics, who are already trying to get out of the play in the tournament and losing a key contributor to their offense, will make their road to the playoffs much harder.
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