BOSTON (CBS) – Just when it looked like the Celtics actually wanted the entire team for at least one game, COVID-19 raised its ugly head. Point guard Payton Pritchard has been placed in the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocol and ruled out for Wednesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs in Boston.
Pritchard had seen an increase in playing time over the past two and a half weeks as Boston dealt with a number of COVID-19 cases on the list. He also got the best out of those minutes with an average of 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his last eight games, including a couple of starts. He was finally working his way into Ime Udoka’s rotation after playing sparsely for six weeks.
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But now he is on record and will have to miss at least the next five days.
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Boston’s COVID issues are at least elsewhere in the list. Star striker Jayson Tatum is scheduled to return Wednesday night after a stay in the minutes, and Boston has announced that swingman Aaron Nesmith is also available against Spurs after clearing the minutes on Wednesday.
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The Celtics are currently 18-19 on the season, but start a five-game stretch against sub-.500 teams on Wednesday.