How will Marcus Smart's injury affect the Celtics in playoffs?

Florence Fletcher
April 12, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics say guard Marcus Smart will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks after being diagnosed with a partial tear to his left oblique abdominal muscle.

With just under seven minutes left in the third quarter of the Celtics' loss to the Magic on Sunday, guard Marcus Smart saw an opportunity for a steal under Orlando's basket, and it was little surprise that he went for it.

The Celtics will get playoff action underway Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Indiana Pacers to TD Garden for Game 1 of their first-round series.

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Just days before the Celtics are set to host IN in Game 1 of a first-round series, the news struck a damaging blow to Boston's postseason chances. He started in 60 games this season, averaging 8.9 points, 4 assists and 2.9 rebounds. But the chain of events that followed also ignites questions about whether the team could have done more to protect Smart. Most of the regulars sat in the season finale against the Washington Wizards and the first game of the series against in is on Sunday. Jaylen Brown will likely take his place in the lineup.

The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season previous year. He is shooting a career-best 42.2 percent from the field, including another career-best 36.4 percent from 3-point range, and Smart is expected to be named to one of the league's All-Defensive teams for his work alongside Irving in Boston's backcourt. But after the Celtics had the ball for one offensive possession - on which Smart was clearly moving gingerly - Smart called for the bench to replace him as he limped back on defense before falling to the floor, writhing in pain and holding his side.

"You try to give it a go, but then if the pain worsens, it's not necessarily making the injury worse", Comeau said.

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