Joe “Iso Joe” Johnson recently played in the NBA for the first time since the 2017-2018 season. The 40-year-old shooting guard suited up for the Celtics, the team that drafted him all the way back in 2001, and made a shot in his first game last week, which brought the home crowd to its feet. It’s a nice comeback story for one of basketball’s most respected players in Joe Johnson.
For Celtics fans though, it’s a distraction from what a shitshow this season has been.
Many have expressed concern over the NBA continuing operations as COVID-19 runs rampant through the league’s locker rooms. They might have a point.
The Celtics have nine players who can’t play right now due to COVID-19 protocols. Nine. Apart from the obvious danger involved in continuing to play while a virus rips through the league, Commissioner Adam Silver is also putting the integrity of the game at risk. We’re already seeing issues related to quality control stemming from players sitting out due to load management. The new COVID variant adds another reason for players to suddenly be out for prime time games.
Really bad look for the NBA.
541 and Counting
This season has already set a record for the most players to play in an NBA season, with 541. I wouldn’t doubt if that number ends up north of 600 by the time the playoffs roll around. Will the Celtics be there for when that happens?
I’d say maybe, with a seven or eight seed. Jayson Tatum is the most recent player to be held out due to COVID-19 protocols, so you won’t see him in the lineup for a few games at least. Awesome. No team in this league is deep enough to handle nine guys going down; the fact that the Celtics are sniffing .500 at 16-18 should be considered an accomplishment.
Perhaps the players who are out right now will develop natural immunity and come back stronger and safer. In the meantime, young role players like Payton Pritchard need to step up in their new, expanded roles. Hold down the fort until the roster is healthy, then try to make a run in 2022.
The Boston Celtics are 27th in the league in bench scoring, at 28.3 PPG. That needs to change if they want to stop sliding in the standings.
But hey, it was good to see Iso Joe back in action!
Join the discussion