As the playoffs grow closer, the Boston Celtics will be without one of their key players. Celtics guard Marcus Smart is out with a torn oblique. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Smart could be sidelined for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Smart was supposed to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, but his pain was too severe. An MRI on Wednesday revealed that the injury is more severe than expected. So, Smart will miss part of the playoffs.
Marcus Smart has suffered a torn oblique on left side and could be sidelined for the first two rounds of the playoffs, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2019
On Sunday, the Celtics lost to the Orlando Magic 116-108. Smart left the game with six minutes left in the third quarter. He suffered the injury after banging hips with Nikola Vucevic of the Magic. He was helped off the court by Celtics trainers, as Smart held his left side. Initially, the Celtics called his injury a left hip contusion. Then, they labeled his injury an oblique bruise. The MRI revealed that the injury is more severe and will keep him out for part of the playoffs.
Smart averages 8.9 points and 4.0 assists. He also played 80 games this season. He was only two games short of playing the entire season. His injury also prevented him from playing in the Celtics’ final game of the regular season. The Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 116-110.
Smart is a key player for the Celtics. He is a threat on the defensive end and can provide offense when needed. His absence is a blow to the Celtics, who will have Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward for this year’s playoffs. The Celtics made the Eastern Conference finals without Hayward and Irving in last year’s playoffs. This year, the Celtics will have both players, but will be without Smart.
Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown will likely start in Smart’s absence. Brown averages 13 points and 4.2 rebounds, as a productive player off their bench. The Celtics need Brown’s contributions as they go through the playoffs.
The Celtics are fourth in the Eastern Conference and will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Smart would help the Celtics advance but his injury could hurt them. If the Celtics advance to the Conference finals, Smart will be a key in their success. Until then, it is up to the Celtics to win.
Featured image courtesy of Sky Sports