Celtics

Aron Baynes is back against Raptors: What difference will he make?

(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

For the first time in over a month, the Celtics will be back at full strength on Wednesday night for their nationally televised showdown with the Toronto Raptors.

Marcus Smart will be back in the lineup after a one-game absence due to illness, but the bigger story is the return of Aron Baynes, who has been cleared by doctors to play exactly four weeks after he suffered a broken bone in his hand against the Suns.

Brad Stevens told Zolak and Bertrand he is not sure whether the veteran center will be on a minutes limit, but he is likely to play against the NBA's best team on Wednesday night.

The Celtics went 7-6 in the 13 games that Baynes missed over the past month, primarily due to a dropoff in play on the defensive end. Boston allowed 106 points per 100 possessions during that stretch, four points more than their season average. That slippage was at least partially due to the absence of Baynes, since he has been the team's best big man defender all year, as the Celtics allow just 99 points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor.

While it's unlikely Baynes will see more than 10-15 minutes in a game against Toronto, his strength will come in handy against