NESN's Adam London suggested to Jayson Tatum to sit out his Boston Celtics' December 20 matchup with the Sacramento Kings; the second night of a back-to-back in Northern California after the Cs lost to the Golden State Warriors 132-126 in overtime on December 19. Tatum rolled his ankle when he stepped on the foot of Brandin Podziemski -- who later injured his back in the second half -- during the opening frame.
"The injury obviously wasn’t severe enough to keep Tatum from playing, but the Celtics might want to sit the 25-year-old out of their next game," London suggested. "Wednesday night’s tilt in Sacramento marks the second leg of a back-to-back and precedes the final two games of Boston’s West Coast road trip, which includes a Christmas Day collision with the Los Angeles Lakers."
Tatum didn't downplay the injury, but took away all of his own potential excuses during the postgame presser losing after re-entering the game almost immediately after the injury.
“It’s swollen,” Tatum said. “I sprained my ankle in the first quarter stepping on somebody’s foot. Rolled on it and went to the back to get it looked at. Not to make any excuses, but when you sprain your ankle, it swells up and it’s just stiff. It just makes it a little tougher to move. I still was out there. If you go out there and play, you can’t make any excuses.”
Jayson Tatum's absence can give Jaylen Brown chance to shine for Boston Celtics
Tatum's injury can be the chance Jaylen Brown needs to make his case for an All-Star bid since as things stand, there's a good chance No. 7 won't be joining Tatum at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indiana for the mid-February Classic. In fact, it's possible that the Cs will have just one representative unless fans or coaches see what Boston analysts do in Derrick White.
Brown as the No. 1 option would be a fun worst-case scenario, and at worst, could strengthen Tatum's MVP case if the team doesn't get enough from its rotation without him.