WALTHAM, Mass. – Gerald Green’s hip flexor injury isn’t anything he or the Celtics are overly concerned about.
They know Green as well as any player on this roster, so him missing a couple days will have no effect on his status in their eyes.
But in shutting him down for a couple days, his absence affords a number of players an opportunity to stand up in what is an absolutely pivotal, potentially career-altering season.
James Young is in his third training camp with the Celtics and no one has a real feel for where he fits into the pantheon of NBA players.
He hasn’t played enough to call him a bust, but hasn’t done enough to feel as though he has a bright future in this league either.
And then there’s R.J. Hunter, who came into the NBA with the reputation of being a spot-on shooter.
As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard struggled knocking down shots when he got playing which for most of the season, was limited.
So, what does that have to do with Green’s injury?
His absence means those two players will get more reps on the floor, providing each with potentially more chances to impress the coaching staff.
It means Young will get a few more shots at showing the added strength, weight and improved skills will enhance his chances to not just make the 15-man roster but also compete for potential minutes.
As for Hunter, he has to make shots.
It’s that simple.
While he showed potential as a rookie to do a number of things on the floor, the easiest way for him to solidify a spot on the roster is to do what he does best which is make baskets.
At the end of the day, one of these guys will not be in a Celtics uniform this season. Between now and then, every opportunity they get to impress the coaches has to be taken advantage of which is exactly what they each will get courtesy of Green’s short-term injury.