Going to be hard for Udoka to have a consistent starting 5 if players keep getting COVID
A couple weeks ago to the delight of Celtics fans new head coach Ime Udoka said he plans to have a consistent starting 5 this season. This was in contrast and almost a shot at previous head coach Brad Stevens. But guess what? I'm sure Brad wanted to have a consistent starting 5 as well, but with the Celtics decimated by injuries, the team leading the league in players out due to COVID Health and Safety protocols, and Kemba Walker not able to play every night, he never had a chance.
New year, new coach, no Kemba, hopefully a healthier team, and more players vaccinated and we can hope for less missed games right? Well unfortunately since the Celtics finished their 2020-21 season the Delta variant has become the dominant COVID-19 virus in the United States. While vaccinated players are considerably less likely to get infected, they still very much can. So far Jaylen Brown has come down with COVID since preseason began and yesterday we learned that Al Horford has now as well.
So in a way it's a bit of pipe dream for Udoka to expect a consistent starting 5 unless the whole team gets vaccinated AND practices better social distancing. Look the players are allowed to do whatever they like on their own time, which the league allows. But if they want to control their destiny this season, they need to be more proactive.
No one is calling for the them to Bubble up like in 2020, but they do have a say or not in whether they will be repeat champions in the "Lose the Most Games Due to COVID" contest. Because if we go through another regular season like we did last year, I don't see us simply flipping a switch come the playoffs.
Celtics’ C/F Al Horford has tested positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine, team says. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown tested positive Friday.
We need players able to play together this season. My guess is the teams that win the most this year will have a combination of great talent, but also a dedication to winning and their team first, and that might mean passing on doing more risky activities.
Regarding Horford, we hope he has a speedy recovery and suffers no long term COVID effects. In the meantime, the 5th starting spot has become more attainable to some other Celtics... assuming they don't get COVID.