BOSTON -- The Celtics will get their first look at the revamped Sixers on Tuesday night in Philadelphia, but they won't have their All-Star point guard with them to try to take down Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and company. Brad Stevens announced at Monday's practice that Kyrie Irving had been ruled out for Tuesday's game and would not travel with the team to Pennsylvania on Monday afternoon. Irving suffered a sprained right knee in Saturday's loss and was called day-to-day by the team.
Stevens did not rule Irving out for Wednesday's home against the Pistons, the final game ahead of the break. Irving was in attendance for Monday's practice in Allston but did not participate in a 3-point shooting contest afterward.
Without Irving, look for Terry Rozier to get the start in Philadelphia against a starting lineup that has been an offensive juggernaut through their first two games together, both wins over the Lakers and Nuggets.
"As you know," Stevens continued, "When you’ve got a team that is right there anyway, when you get just one or two special guys and then also fill in with really athletic, skilled bench guys that are very versatile, there’s probably a little bounce in their step. There’s a buzz to that. We even talked about it before the Clippers, when new guys come in, it kinda gives you a fresh like giddyup and obviously, Philly is playing great. They were already good, by the way, like really good, really well coached, great system, great energy, now they’re pretty close to ridiculous. That’s a heck of a team."
Rozier will likely spend much of his time chasing around JJ Redick on the perimeter in the matchup, which will allow Marcus Smart to match up against Jimmy Butler. The rest of the Celtics frontcourt all match up fairly well with Harris, Simmons and Embiid, but everyone is going to have their work cut out for them with that group from a defensive standpoint.