Brad Stevens was interviewed before the Celtics faced off with the Cavaliers on the road. With Robert Williams struggling with turf toe, Stevens was asked if they were planning on resting him until the play-in and postseason.
Stevens said “He got a cortisone shot, so we wanted to wait and see how that felt, hasn’t felt significantly better yet… is there any benefit to playing before that [next week]… I don’t have any real update… our plan is to be conservative with that.” Boston is resting a few players tonight, and considering this season, Coach Stevens was asked if this was intentional based on where Boston was in the standings.
Stevens made clear outside of Walker, none of the absences were planned. “We’ll meet tomorrow night as a staff… obviously Kemba doesn’t play the second night of back-to-backs… Smart’s was from the collision he had with Robinson.”
With Brown’s injury, Stevens was asked how he can ensure players don’t check out with the standings being as they are. “If you’re focused on how you’re doing you’re not focused on what you’re doing” Stevens said, ”we got guys that will get new opportunities… certainly tonight… this is a time where, again, you don’t know who’s going to get a chance in these games coming up… these three games are critical… I think that that’s what you focus on… don’t get caught up… let’s try to get caught up in playing better.”
Robert Williams’ recovery has made clear the importance of Tristan Thompson, and Stevens said “He brings a great deal of physicality… he’s almost always available… he’s played through this pec strain that he has… he has certainly filled in whenever asked… he’s kept a good attitude… and he’s clearly like a huge rotation piece as we move into the postseason opportunities.”
On the injuries sustained by Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, Stevens elaborated that “We don’t think Marcus’ was a strain… that’s a good thing… Kemba did leave the game when he got hit there… but is doing great today.”