Celtics see another five players enter protocols
Boston is in real jeopardy of not being able to field a team, as they have found themselves under siege from covid-19.
The Celtics have a genuine crisis on their hands with an alarming number of players out due to either covid-19 or injury
Boston's Enes Freedom and several others enter protocols
On Friday the Boston Celtics announced that another five of their players had officially entered the NBA's health and safety protocols. As one of the teams in the league that has been truly decimated by the omicron variant of covid-19, the Celtics find themselves in a precarious position as the virus spreads throughout the league. To date, guard C.J. Miles, forwards Aaron Nesmith and Justin Jackson, Bruno Fernando and star center Enes Freedom have all been placed into the protocols. As it stands, Boston now have an official total of 12 players in protocols as they head into their Christmas Day date with the Milwaukee Bucks. Ironically, the Bucks themselves have just been bolstered by the return of star player Giannis Antetokounmpo who cleared protocols recently.
It doesn't look good for the Celtics
Come Saturday, Boston will find themselves without eight players - the aforementioned five as well as guard Josh Richardson and forwards Sam Hauser and Grant Williams. If that wasn't enough, there are an additional four players - guard Brodric Thomas, forwards Jabari Parker and Juancho Hernangomez and center Al Horford - who are all listed as 'questionable,' having entered protocols just last week. Of course for good measure, what roster problem would be complete without injuries? Guards Marcus Smart (hip contusion) and Romeo Langford (Achilles tendinopathy) are a doubt due to their respective injuries. With a record of 16-16 the Celtics definitely could use little luck right now.
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The Celtics aren't alone
If nothing else, Boston can take comfort in the fact that there are several other teams set to play on Christmas Day, that also have a number of players sidelined due to covid-19. The Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks are all facing very real problems with their rosters. Most recently the Lakers were even forced to sign two players to a 10 day contract under the 'hardship exemption' rule. Yet, if there is one thing that remains the same, its that the Celtics don't have room for mistakes, especially when one considers that they are about to face a Giannis led Bucks team that is looking to get it's groove back.