Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is now the latest player within the organization who will be required to enter quarantine, which will have him sidelined for 10-to-14 days, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. That brings the total number of Celtics players in quarantine up to four, after the team announced on Friday that Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams and Grant Williams will all be required to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols. Robert Williams reportedly tested positive for the virus and has been asymptomatic, while Grant Williams and Thompson are being told to quarantine for contact tracing, per The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.
In the next two weeks, the Celtics play the Heat, Bulls, the Magic twice, the Knicks, and the Sixers twice and without their leading scorer in Tatum, and three of their bigs in tow, Boston will be incredibly shorthanded in the immediate future. The Celtics have already felt the effects of being shorthanded this season, as Kemba Walker hasn't made his season debut yet with a knee injury, Jeff Teague has been dealing with an ankle injury and Romeo Langford has been out with a wrist injury.
Despite the ups and downs of the roster, though, Boston has still managed to pull out wins as the Celtics have gotten out to a 7-3 start to the season. Strong play from Jaylen Brown, who has taken a huge leap this season in averaging 26 points a game on 41.2 percent from 3-point range, has elevated the Celtics to another level this season as he's been a big reason why they've started so strong. However, not having an All-Star like Tatum, who is averaging a career-high 26.9 points, to go along with 7.1 boards and 3.8 assists while 43.8 percent from 3-point range, is a monumental blow.
Losing three important frontcourt players isn't ideal either. Thompson is averaging 8.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Celtics and has helped with the lack of size this team had last season, as Boston can now deploy Thompson and Daniel Theis in the starting lineup to take care of opposing bigs. Without Thompson and both Williams' who have served as backup forwards/centers, the Celtics could call upon Semi Ojeleye to step in as a starter, as there aren't many options remaining for them with the number of injured players and guys who are out due to COVID-19 protocols. We could also see more playing time for Tacko Fall in the next week, and some time where Boston goes incredibly small with its lineup.