Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Celtics: Smart out 4-6 weeks partially torn oblique muscle

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum celebrates a dunk against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis Friday Marcus Smart injury update: Celtics guard leaves game vs. Magic with hip contusion
Shannon Reynolds | 12 April, 2019, 01:04

He has played a significant role for the Celtics this season, and a hard pathway to emerge out of the East only becomes more hard with the guard's loss.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Celtics guard Marcus Smart could be sidelined for the first two rounds of the National Basketball Association playoffs due to a torn oblique on his left side.

With the 2019 NBA Playoff field set following Wednesday's season-ending finals, it's official that the Celtics and Pacers will begin their first-round series Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Smart, 25, has averaged 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4 assists, but his defense and grittiness separates him, especially in the playoffs. "We've thought ever since he got here that he's one of the best defenders in the league".

Smart sustained the injury in a game against the Orlando Magic on Sunday, and he did not play Tuesday at the Washington Wizards.

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Smart is a key part of Boston's gameplan.

Expect Stevens to go with either Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward - former members of the Celtics' starting lineup - to replace Smart.

The Celtics were in a similar position a season ago when they went the first four games of the 2018 Playoffs without their defensive-minded guard.

Boston eventually called a timeout, and Smart limped to the bench - only to convince the training staff that he was all right and could stay in the game.

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