Friday is the biggest game of the regular season for the Celtics — well, maybe not their fans, they want to beat the Lakers more than anything — if they beat the 76ers they take over first place in the Atlantic Division. Which means a jump from the seven seed (Miami in the first round of the playoffs) to the four seed (hello Indiana).
But they will be doing it without Ray Allen, who is a surprise scratch, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Six games ago Allen tweaked his ankle when he slipped on a wet spot on the floor against the Clippers. He has played through it up to this point, but the Celtics are on the second night of a back-to-back against the Sixers and while Doc Rivers wants to win this game he has to think long term. Which is the prudent thing to do.
Mickael Pietrus will get the start in his absence.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.