Jayson Tatum, Evan Fournier Among Celtics Stars out with Injuries vs. Knicks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2021

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics will keep out much of their rotation for Sunday's regular-season finale against the New York Knicks.

The team announced a long list of inactive players:

Boston Celtics @celtics

#NEBHInjuryReport vs. New York (2/2): Jayson Tatum (Left Ankle Impingement) - OUT Tristan Thompson (Left Pectoral Strain) - OUT Kemba Walker (Left Cervical Nerve Irritation) - OUT Robert Williams (Left Foot, Turf Toe) - OUT

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald noted Jayson Tatum and Evan Fournier are new adds to the injury report.

The Celtics will finish seventh in the Eastern Conference regardless of the result of the final game, putting them in the play-in tournament starting Tuesday.

Tatum already missed time this season because of an ankle injury and the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He also exited a game in early May after colliding with Jaylen Brown.

Tatum, a two-time All-Star, is averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game behind 45.9 percent shooting from the field and 38.6 percent shooting from deep.

He can carry the offense for extended stretches with his ability to hit from deep and attack off the bounce, and he scored 60 points in late April. Boston doesn't have anyone who can come close to replicating his impact if he is sidelined, especially with Brown out for the season.

Fournier, who came over at the trade deadline from Orlando, has also been valuable in recent weeks, scoring at least 15 points in seven straight games.