With Tristan Thompson out, expect Rob Williams to get the start tonight

Issac Baldizon. NBAE. Getty Images.

It was announced this afternoon that center Tristan Thompson would be out tonight due to “Health and Safety Protocols.” This essentially means that Thompson either tested positive for COVID-19, or came into contact with someone who tested positive and must quarantine. The NBA doesn’t outright release whether a player has tested positive for the virus, but if Thompson has tested positive, here’s to hoping for a smooth and speedy recovery.

Romeo Langford was expected to play in last Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, but the Celtics announced that he too was out due to Health and Safety Protocols. It’s always concerning when a number of players on one team go out for this specific reason, as it could mean an outbreak as a result of a team gathering or practice. The Celtics were already hit with coronavirus protocols and cases in the first half of the season, and I’d hate to see them already dealing with contact tracing and positive test cases this early in the second half.

On the bright side, this means that Rob “Time Lord’ Williams is likely to start at center for the Celtics tonight, as they face the Utah Jazz, who have the best record in the NBA. The Celtics still sometimes start a frontcourt of both Daniel Theis and Thompson, but Time Lord should be able to slide into Thompson’s place. While no official starting line-up has been announced, Theis is unlikely to start as the lone big man for the C’s against the 7’1”, 260 pound Rudy Gobert. Size-wise Williams just makes more sense in this matchup, and who doesn’t love extended Time Lord minutes?

The Celtics-Jazz game tips off at 7:30 EST on TNT and NBC Sports Boston, and look for an official announcement thirty minutes to an hour before the game’s start time. Go Celtics.