In what will likely be a brief stint for the former Syracuse star back in Boston, the Celtics have announced they are recalling small forward Kris Joseph in time for tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have recalled forward Kris Joseph from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
Joseph, a 6’7 forward, averaged 25.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block in two games while on assignment. He made his NBA debut against the Milwaukee Bucks and recorded one rebound and one assist in three minutes of action on November 2.
CH’s Take: The move is an indication that the team is looking for additional depth for at least the next couple games. The Celtics will not be able to dress anyone to take the place of Rajon Rondo on the roster during his two-game suspension, meaning they will only be able to dress 12 players as a maximum for tonight’s tilt with the Blazers. With the C’s only having 14 players on their complete roster right now, after the waiving of Darko Milicic, combined with the fact that Joseph and Fab Melo were playing in Maine, would have left the team extremely shorthanded. With Rondo suspended and Avery Bradley sidelined, the team would have only had 10 potentially active players for tonight before today’s call up of Joseph.
The other lingering issue is the fact that both Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox are questionable for tonight’s game as well. Green sprained his right knee in the third quarter of the loss against Brooklyn, before returning to action later in the contest. Doc Rivers noted his status was uncertain at practice yesterday. Chris Wilcox missed practice, after sitting out the second half of Wednesday’s loss due to illness.
The real factor, as it pertains to Joseph for the next couple games, will be whether Green plays. Boston will be extremely shorthanded at it currently stands in the backcourt, having to rely on a three-guard rotation of Lee, Barbosa and Terry to split 96 minutes over the next couple contests, a realistic but somewhat challenging scenario if any of the players run into foul trouble (hello, Leandro). This rotation effectively eliminates any chance Boston has of “going small” until Rondo returns from his suspension.
The C’s small forward depth is also very limited behind Pierce when you look at the roster. Right now, it’s Green then right to the rookie, meaning there is a very real chance that the 22-year-old sees limited minutes for Boston tonight if Green’s knee injury keeps him sidelined. In either case, having him up in Boston with any other C’s player battling an injury was crucial to have additional insurance.
Given that Green returned to the game Wednesday night, I would suspect he will be good to go for tonight, but trainer Eddie Lacerte might be playing it cautious with the hybrid forward. CelticsHub will keep you posted from the Garden on any updates regarding his status for tonight.
The other looming issue for Boston tonight? Who starts and guards rookie phenom Damian Lillard? You can likely pencil Lee into the shooting guard spot for tonight to matchup with Wesley Matthews, but I’ll be curious to see whether Doc trusts Terry or Barbosa to handle the shifty rookie for the bulk of tonight’s minutes. If neither is up to the job, Doc could also place Lee on Lillard and attempt to hide Terry or Barbosa on Matthews, not an ideal situation given Matthews’ height advantage on both players, but still a possibility.
Either way, the C’s catch somewhat of a break tonight given the fact that Portland has a very underwhelming bench in the backcourt, so they won’t be able to exploit Terry and Barbosa as much with Rondo sidelined, although that reality may change tomorrow night against the Bucks explosive backcourt.