When the Boston Celtics open their second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, they’ll be without guard Marcus Smart due to a partially torn oblique.
The injury was suffered in Boston’s regular season finale against the Orlando Magic, so this doesn’t come as a surprise, but some Celtics fans were holding out hope that Smart’s insane work ethic would magically get him back in time for the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
The team officially announced Saturday that Smart will miss Game 1 vs. Milwaukee.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge noted Thursday that Smart will not play this weekend, but the team waited until Friday to make his Game 1 absence official.
Smart was seen going through some sprinting and shooting drills at the Auerbach Center following Thursday’s practice, as he continues to show more and more progress towards a return to game action
Brad Stevens told reporters Saturday morning via conference call that Smart will make the trip to Milwaukee with the team, followed by a confirmation of Ainge’s injury update.
Smart’s positive progress, combined with him not being ruled unavailable outside of Games 1 and 2 has led many Celtics fans to hold out hope of a Game 3 return. Lucky for them, Game 3 isn’t until Friday night.
We’ll have to wait and see, but that sounds like plenty of time to me.
The Bucks will have a shorthanded backcourt as well, missing Malcolm Brogdon for Games 1 and 2.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images