The Boston Celtics will be without Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, which means a pair of new faces in the starting lineup: Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown.
The Cavaliers will also be short-handed — in addition to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, both of whom have missed extended time, Cedi Osman will also miss Tuesday’s action.
|Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (7) warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach) (Joel Auerbach)|
The starting lineup with Rozier and Brown replacing Irving and Morris has played 34 minutes together total with a net rating of 8.1. Their defensive rating is a stingy 94.7, which (in theory!) should be more than enough to put the Cavaliers in a hole to start the game. Cleveland trails two teams for the worst record in the league by just a game, but under the new flattened lottery odds, the Cavs would have an equal chance to acquire the number one pick, which is essentially the entire goal of their season.
Other quick pre-game notes:
– A certain somebody appears to be back in the NBC Sports Boston studios for Tuesday’s game.
This is fantastic news. Welcome back, Tommy.
– Marcus Morris on getting traded is pretty funny.
There’s a reason every Celtics beat writer goes directly to Morris whenever they need a good quote about something. He always has an honest, interesting take.
– Brad Stevens, per the Boston Sports Journal’s Brian Robb, really likes Boston’s current roster.
“I like our roster a lot,” Stevens said at shootaround.
Pressed on moves prior to the trade deadline, Stevens declined to go into deeper detail (which makes sense).
“Not my job. I coach,” he said. “Ultimately, we need to all be able to get the most out of each other and play great. Our focus has been on this roster all year.”