Aaron Nesmith Has Big Opportunity As Celtics Deal With COVID-19 Issues

Nesmith scored 11 points vs. the Warriors on Friday night


Dec 18, 2021

Aaron Nesmith hasn’t received much playing time so far this season, but he’s now needed as the Boston Celtics deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2020 first-round draft pick has played in 24 games this season but is averaging just 10.2 minutes per game and 3.2 points on 35% shooting. His playing time has come in bursts, being deep on the depth chart, but with a plethora of injuries and COVID-19 cases, he has seen extended time at certain points.

Friday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors was one of those games, and Nesmith took advantage of it, scoring 11 points in 22 minutes and earning himself a spot in the starting lineup Saturday night as the Celtics welcome the New York Knicks to TD Garden. Boston currently is dealing with its worst COVID-19 outbreak of the season, and Nesmith certainly will be needed if the Celtics are to earn a win over the Knicks, especially with them having just 10 guys available.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka spoke about the opportunity for Nesmith and what he hopes comes out of it.

“Sometimes all it is is needed minutes and consistency as far as that. When we have (Dennis Schröder) playing and (Josh Richardson) playing and they’re playing very well, plus (Grant Williams) playing, those minutes are going to be harder to come by,” Udoka said. “And for him to get into rhythm, there isn’t going to be the same opportunity there, so this kind of forces our situation and we’ve seen him at times last year, as well as summer league and even in games this year when Josh was out and he went off on a streak, so we’re hoping that comes tonight. Getting two in a row obviously is more of an opportunity for him and we hope he takes advantage of it.”

It might not be the prettiest way to earn playing time, but an opportunity is an opportunity.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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