Celtics

Marcus Smart suffers left ankle sprain, will miss a couple weeks

Marcus Smart suffers left ankle sprain, will miss a couple weeks

BOSTON – The left ankle sprain injury Marcus Smart suffered in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against New York is expected to keep him sidelined for a couple weeks which means he will not play in the season opener against Brooklyn next week, according to league source.

It is the same ankle that Smart has sprained before, but it doesn’t appear to be as bad an ankle sprain as the ones he has had previously.

One of the reasons for it not being as serious is the fact that Smart had the ankle taped up, something he has done for all games since suffering ankle sprains during his rookie season which sidelined him for several weeks.

Smart is certainly frustrated and disappointed that he has suffered yet another ankle-related injury, evident by him smacking the parquet floor moments after he went down.

Within seconds of him being on the floor, he didn’t try to put any weight on it. Instead, he called for help from his teammates and the medical staff who helped him to his feet and from there, back to the locker room.

Although Smart has not shot the ball as well as he would have liked in the preseason, he remains a player head coach Brad Stevens has a tremendous amount of confidence and faith in which is why he has referred to Smart as the team’s Sixth starter.

With Smart being out for a couple weeks, it’s unclear what impact if any this will have on the Celtics trimming their roster down to 15 players by the league deadline which is Monday at 5 p.m.

The players that have been most linked with the 15th roster spot are R.J. Hunter and James Young, with Young being the more versatile player of the two.

However, with the injury being a relatively short-term one, Smart’s injury may not be a factor in their decision.

Bucks fans' chant suggests they're pretty excited to face Celtics

Bucks fans' chant suggests they're pretty excited to face Celtics

As the Milwaukee Bucks put the finishing touches on a first-round sweep, their fans were already looking ahead.

The Bucks officially set up a second-round NBA playoff series with the Boston Celtics by beating the Pistons in Detroit on Monday night. And before that game even finished, fans at a Game 4 watch party in Milwaukee had the C's on their minds.

This is a perfect revenge matchup for the Bucks after Boston ousted them in the first round last season. Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted as much Monday night after his team's series-clinching win.

But here's a quick warning for Bucks fans: Be careful what you wish for. The Celtics are riding high off a first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers, and the last time another fanbase expressed its desire to play a Boston team was New York Yankees fans ahead of the 2018 American League Division Series. And we all know how that ended.

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Celtics to face Bucks in second round of the NBA playoffs

Celtics to face Bucks in second round of the NBA playoffs

To nobody's surprise, the Boston Celtics are going to play the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Bucks, the East's No. 1 seed, had the best record in the NBA last season (60-22) and faced little resistance in their first-round matchup. They easily swept the Detroit Pistons in four games. The Pistons' star player, Blake Griffin, was far from healthy, and that played a role in the Bucks' series win.

This is the second year in a row that the Celtics will play the Bucks in the playoffs. Last year, the No. 2 seeded Celtics defeated the Bucks in a series that spanned seven games. The home team won every game in that series.

The Bucks will be a tough opponent for the Celtics. Potential league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is a matchup nightmare, and he averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game during the regular season. And around him, the Bucks have solid depth.

In their regular season series, the Celtics posted only a 1-2 record against the Bucks, winning their first meeting in November but coming up just short in their other two games. Antetokounmpo averaged 31 points per game against the Celtics, so slowing him down will be key to finding success in the series.

The Celtics will open on the road in this series, as the first two games will be in Milwaukee. The Celtics will have to ensure that they get off to a solid start and continue to fare well on the road, something they struggled to do last postseason (1-7 record in eight road games, 0-3 in Milwaukee).

BLAKELY: Celtics vs. Bucks playoff history>>>

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