BOSTON –- There is no mistaking the identity of the top five players on the Celtics roster this season.
Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are all averaging at least 20 points per game, Gordon Hayward has improved over his struggles of a year ago while returning from a gruesome injury and Marcus Smart provides a little bit of everything.
Because of a series of injuries and illness, though, those five players have been available together for only 11 of the Celtics' first 42 games with the team going 7-4 when they were all healthy.
Hayward had two stints on the sideline where he missed 16 games and Smart has been out twice, sitting out nine games. Walker and Brown have each missed five games and Tatum was unable to play once.
Coach Brad Stevens' wish list for the second half of the season, which began with a lopsided win over the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night, includes having those five together for long stretches.
"It's good to be as close to full as we've been from a health standpoint,'' said Stevens after a 139-107 rout of the Lakers. "I'm hoping that we can maintain that and build off of it.''
But as the Celtics turned their attention to a game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night at the TD Garden, one of those five names popped up on the injury report.
Brown, who returned Monday after sitting out two games with a sprained thumb, has a sprained right ankle and is listed as questionable. Brown had 20 points against the Lakers, including a monster dunk over LeBron James.
His status will be updated after the team's shootaround at the Auerbach Center Wednesday morning.
The Celtics had their five top players in the lineup for the first three games of the season and then on Nov. 7 and 9, but Hayward fractured his left hand in San Antonio. The next time the five were together was for a Dec. 28 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
There have been five games when Walker, Tatum, Brown, Hayward and Smart have been available all at once -- losses to the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers and wins over the New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls and the Lakers.
"We've had guys out,'' said Stevens, "and I want to see if we can play well with a sustained period with more bodies available and then we'll gauge where we are, how good we are and all that stuff.
"There's still a lot of unknown. This is one game. Just like we didn't overreact to losing the Phoenix game (Saturday night), we're not going to overreact to winning this one (over the Lakers).''
The victory over James and the Lakers was the most impressive one put together by the Celtics this season.
They took an early punch, trailing, 8-0, in the very first minute and then took control with a superb offense and much better defense to stifle the Lakers, who had won 10 of 11 games.
"When we come out with the right mindset, this game just becomes so easy,'' said Enes Kanter.
The win over the Lakers improved Walker's record against James to 1-28 after going winless while playing in Charlotte.
"I'm more excited about the way we played and the way we came out, especially with the struggles that we had in the last couple weeks,'' said Walker. "When we're really good, we're up on the basketball and teams are operating pretty far out. When we're bad, it's obviously the opposite.''
The rebuilding Grizzlies are contending for a playoff spot with a young nucleus that includes No. 2 pick Ja Morant (17.9), Jaren Jackson (17.8) and Dillon Brooks (15.7). The Grizzles are eighth in the Western Conference at 20-23, one-half game up on the Spurs.
The Celtics look like they will be receiving Memphis' first-round pick in June as part of the Jeff Green trade on Jan. 12, 2015. The pick was top-eight protected a year ago and is top-six protected this season, and the Grizzlies would currently have the No. 16 choice.
Jae Crowder, who spent two-plus seasons with the Celtics before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, is starting at forward for the Grizzlies and is averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds.