Celtics Coach Brad Stevens, left, talks with Grant Williams during a game earlier this season. Stevens was without two assistant coaches, as well as Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams, on Friday because of COVID-19 protocols. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

News service report

BOSTON — Brad Stevens hadn’t spoken to Jay Larranaga after Friday night’s game yet when he met with the media, but he had a pretty good idea what his assistant coach would be doing at home.

“I’m sure Jay had rewound Tacko Fall’s jump shot 58 times already and watched it with great joy,” Stevens said. “They work together and Jay’s spent a lot of time in the gym with him.”

Larranaga wasn’t in the building to see his popular pupil, as he and fellow assistant Jerome Allen missed the game because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The protocols cover anything related to COVID-19.

The absence of Larranaga and Allen brought the Celtics’ totals to nine players and two coaches who have been impacted by the protocols the last  week. Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams and Carsen Edwards missed Friday’s game, while Grant Williams, Tristan Thompson, Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, Daniel Theis and Javonte Green all missed practice time this week but were cleared to return for Friday’s game.

Stevens said both coaches helped prepare remotely while the rest of the staff picked up the slack without them at the game.

“Guys stepped in and helped with individual workouts. We’ve got a big staff. We’ve got a great staff. We don’t want to have anybody missing or out,” Stevens said. “Those guys were still adding as much value as possible while they’re out. Those guys were on Zoom calls with us all the time, on Zoom calls with their individuals. I’m sure they both missed being here and they’ll be back with us soon.”

WITH JAYSON TATUM and Robert Williams out, Stevens opted for Tristan Thompson, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jeff Teague and Grant Williams to start the game.

Daniel Theis, who wasn’t cleared until Friday afternoon, had started 74 straight regular-season games he’s appeared in.

MULTIPLE REPORTS SURFACED nationally that the NBA was considering adding an additional roster spot for a player on a two-way contract to help teams missing players under the league’s health and safety protocols. Stevens saw overall value, but didn’t think his team would benefit much from an additional player.

“As long as we’re not in a situation like we were this week and we don’t have a rash of injures (knock on wood) from our own team standpoint, I don’t know how impactful that spot would be for us,” Stevens said. “But if you do go through periods where you have a lot of guys out, then that’s a beneficial thing.

“The other beneficial thing is guys who just missed being in the league, that are on the outside looking in, have a very limited G-League season,” Stevens said. “This would give them 30 more opportunities. I see the pros and cons. As far as how that impacts our roster when we’re full or near full. I can’t see adding somebody in that spot that would be that impactful.”

STEVENS SAID HE didn’t learn whether he’d have Brown, Ojeleye, Green and Theis available until Friday afternoon. The four players were all listed as questionable on Thursday.

“I’m very grateful to be here and get a chance to play. We didn’t know until this afternoon if those guys listed as questionable would be able to play or not. We got 12 (players). We’re looking forward to putting our best foot forward with this group,” Stevens said. “I won’t push anybody’s minutes beyond their limits tonight. We have to be cognizant of that coming off a week of relative inactivity.”

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