NBA -- Marcus Smart out for 4-6 weeks
By Nicky Manguino
Thu, 11 Apr 2019
PORTLAND -- With four days to go before the start of the 2018-19 NBA playoffs, the Boston Celtics received some terrible news today when the team announced in an official statement that guard Marcus Smart will be sidelined for at least four to six weeks with a torn oblique,
Ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics, who tote a 49-33 record, will face the resilient 48-34 Indiana Pacers in the opening round of the playoffs. The Pacers, who lost star guard Victor Oladipo early in the season, managed to put it together and finished in fifth place.
The 25-year old Smart, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, is a veteran of 341 regular season games and pulls in an $11.6 million salary this season. In 80 appearances this season, Smart averaged 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and four assists per.
If the Celtics somehow overcome the Pacers without Smart, a physical defender and reliable play maker, the Celtics will miss him potentially in the second round where the top-ranked Milwaukee Bucks await.
Ranked No.1 overall in the NBA, Milwaukee totes a 60-22 record and is expected to dismiss the eight-seeded 41-41-Detroit Pistons. The favorite to come out of the East, the Bucks are led by leading MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo who is averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists a contest.
After relieving Jason Kidd of his head coaching duties, the Bucks have found a new voice in Mike Budenholzer, a Coach of the Year candidate who is responsible for making Milwaukee the best defensive team in the NBA and fourth overall in offensive efficiency.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nicky Manguino.
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