The Boston Celtics will be without all three of their centers -- that being Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, and Luke Kornet -- and could be without Jaylen Brown on December 15 when they host the Orlando Magic for the first of a two-game stretch at the TD Garden that will conclude on December 17 and the second of three matchups during the 2023-24 season.
Porzingis is suffering calf tightness from the injury that kept him out from November 24 to December 8, Kornet is suffering from left adductor tightness and Brown has an issue with his right knee. Horford has a rest day after the Cs defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-107 on December 14. So much for those new NBA rest rules.
Evidently, the Celtics will need to rely on Neemias Queta at the 5 and go small frequently, while also relying on a slew of wings to bridge the gap on the wing as Jayson Tatum and even Jrue Holiday play minutes at the 5.
Joe Mazzulla sends message on Boston Celtics bench challenges, shouts out Lamar Stevens
Joe Mazzulla acknowledged the Celtics' second unit's challenges following the win over the Cavs, even sending a message on every bench in the league.
“[The bench] guys probably have the toughest job in the league,” Mazzulla said (h/t Boston.com). “They never know when they are going in."
Mazzulla then affirmed his confidence in the bench's outing against Cleveland, shouting out former Cavalier Lamar Stevens in particular for his somewhat surprising fifth appearance during the 2023-24 season.
"Those four or five that we have do a tremendous job coming in and working every single day, and so when it is their time, I trust them, and they are each going to get an opportunity to do so and bring a different dynamic to the game," Mazzulla prefaced before saying, "Tonight we went with Lamar, and I thought he did a good job."
With the injuries the Celtics are facing against the Magic, Mazzulla will need that bench to carry a significant load.