The Boston Celtics have ruled out point guards Terry Rozier (ankle) and Shane Larkin (illness) for Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks, leaving the injury-ravaged Celtics with no pure ball handlers on their roster.
With Kyrie Irving (knee) and Marcus Smart (thumb) recovering from recent surgeries, the Celtics will be forced to lean heavily on Al Horford and rookie Jayson Tatum to play point forward while also needing G League two-way player Kadeem Allen for ballhandling.
The Celtics are without six total players as Gordon Hayward (ankle) and Daniel Theis (knee) rehab from surgery as well.
Rozier injured his ankle late in Saturday's win over the Raptors but said Monday that he planned to play in Milwaukee. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that the team would err on the side of caution with Rozier because Boston is already thin on healthy ball handlers as the playoffs approach.
Stevens also noted Monday that the Celtics have to operate as if Irving and Smart will not be back for the start of the playoffs in mid-April.
"At the end of the day, we don't know a Kyrie [return] timeline officially, we don't know a Marcus timeline," Stevens said. "We can't necessarily think that those guys are going to be back any time soon, so this is why, with like a Terry injury, we want to be very, very smart about bringing him back."
Larkin was hospitalized over the weekend while battling the flu. He was discharged Sunday but was not able to join the team in Milwaukee.
Tatum handled some of the ballhandling duties during Saturday's win over the Raptors while Horford has brought the ball up the floor at times this season.
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