After picking up eight consecutive victories the Boston Celtics have now lost two in a row and last night’s loss came against the Phoenix Suns, who hold the worst record in the western conference. Boston’s 111-103 loss came with a huge blow as they lost their backup center Aron Baynes indefinitely due to a broken hand suffered in the first quarter.
Injuries piling up for Boston
For Brad Stevens and the Celtics it seems like they’ve came across this issue before as the injuries continue to pile up. The C’s are already without Al Horford who has missed six games with a sore left knee and Marcus Morris is also sidelined with a sore right knee. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown are also finding their way back into the rotation after missing a couple of games due to injury.
With their starting and back-up centers out the Celtics were ripped apart in the paint by the young Suns. They lost the rebound battle 56-37 and gave up 20 second-chance points in the process. Phoenix on the other hand finished with 21 offensive rebounds, rookie Deandre Ayton finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds, Devin Booker dropped 25 points and T.J Warren chipped in with 21 points.
Theis and Williams Need to Step-up at the Five Position
After Baynes went down Daniel Theis started in his place and might fill in the five position in the starting line-up going forward, but rookie Robert Williams will be seeing an increase in minutes with these injuries. On the court Williams and Irving seem to be building chemistry as they connected on two alley-oop plays during the game. “It’s the next-man up mentality, always,” Williams said. “Gotta be ready.” Irving has praised the rookie on his energy once he’s on the court, “I’ve played with a quite a few bigs. I had Timofey Mozgov. I had Tristan (Thompson) in Cleveland, when I was in college I had Mason and Miles Plumlee,” Irving said.
“Having a consistent lob threat at the rim where you can throw it around the rim and he can go get it, you can see how easy it is for me and Rob. Going in, people are stepping up on me, and he’s always a threat at the rim for offensive rebounds and lobs, so I love playing with Rob.”