Let the kids play tonight. There may be no alternative.
Kemba Walker (rest), Gordon Hayward (knee), Jayson Tatum (cold), Marcus Smart (possible suspension) and Jaylen Brown (hamstring) are either out, questionable or doubtful for this evening's contest, although nothing has been announced about action against Marcus for his tirade last night. It just may end up being Daniel Theis and a cast of kids facing the Cavs. That may not be so bad.
I personally would love to see a Carsen Edwards-Tremont Waters backcourt for at least part of the game. Both have excelled at the G League level. Romeo Langford has shown flashes as a defensive stopper in his limited minutes on the floor as a Celtic, and Grant Williams, Javonte Green and Semi Ojeleye would fill out the gang of Young Guns. In addition to Theis, the "old codgers" for tonight's clash would be Brad Wanamaker and Enes Kanter. And we should see more minutes from the recently-returned Rob Williams.
With 60 games down, and 22 to go, Boston sits in third place in the East with a 41-19 record. If the playoffs started today, they would face the Philadelphia 76'ers. The second seed in the Eastern Conference is still attainable for the Celtics, but tonight's main focus should be on getting the young guys significant time on the floor. If Smart avoids a suspension, his presence in the game would benefit the rookies.
So at least on the Celtics side, this contest tonight may resemble a Summer League game, but hey, why not. I doubt any of the participants won't play hard, and a victory is always possible. That would be a major relief from the disappointing loss to the Brooklyn Nets last evening. Here's the injury list - just out.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tonight vs Cleveland:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 4, 2020
Jaylen Brown (right hamstring strain) - OUT
Javonte Green (right ankle sprain) - PROBABLE
Gordon Hayward (right knee contusion) - OUT
Jayson Tatum (illness) - PROBABLE
Kemba Walker (left knee rehab) - OUT
Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet