Ime Udoka Seeks ‘Consistency’ From Celtics Starters As Jayson Tatum Returns

Tatum is returning after a four-game stint in health and safety protocols

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BOSTON, Mass — It’s been a rarity for the Boston Celtics to have their top five starters available all at once this season. The core group of Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams has played just eight games together.

They’ll log a ninth — and their first since Dec. 13 — on Wednesday as Boston hosts the San Antonio Spurs.

Tatum, who spent four games in health and safety protocols on the tail end of a COVID-19 outbreak that also caught Al Horford, among others, will return for the clash. Williams, who missed a game with a right big toe sprain, also is available.

Head coach Ime Udoka is looking forward to seeing the true starting five hit the floor, especially as Boston looks to gain some ground with an easier part of the schedule upcoming.

The group is 5-3 on the season.

“You have a consistent, veteran group out there of guys that have been together quite a bit, obviously not this year but in the past,” Udoka said. “You just want to see that consistency from the start with those guys, and then you kind of fit our role players or our bench guys into those roles.

“We haven’t seen it a ton, but we like what we saw early on with it. For a bunch of different reasons we haven’t seen them much, but that’s the consistency that we’re going to have to see going forward, what this group really looks like.”

Celtics-Spurs is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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