This news delivers a huge blow to the Boston Celtics.
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Celtics' guard Marcus Smart suffered a torn oblique and 'could be sidelined for the first two rounds 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
This comes from the injury that Smart suffered in Monday's (AEST) loss to the Orlando Magic in the Celtics' final game of the regular season.
Smart was doing what he does best, sacrificing his body for a loose ball, before falling directly on his hip. He tried to stay in the game but on the very next possession, collapsed in pain and had to be taken off the floor.
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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. Smart came back from his thumb injury in Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks and made an immediate impact in the series, helping the Celtics advance out of the first round.
Boston will hope for a similar quick recovery from Smart, as his leadership and defensive presence is the lifeblood of the team.
Smart is averaging 8.9 points on a career-best 36.4 percent shooting from 3-point range to go with 4.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game this season.
Look for Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward to fill his spot in the starting lineup for the time being with an increased role from reserve guard Terry Rozier off the bench.