The Boston Celtics swept a Ben Simmons-less Philadelphia 76ers team in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and they may also have an easier road in their second-round series vs. the Toronto Raptors.
An MRI on Monday revealed Kyle Lowry suffered a left ankle sprain during the Raptors' Game 4 victory over the Brooklyn Nets and as of Monday, there is no timetable for his return. If the All-Star point guard misses any time, that obviously is a major advantage for Boston.
A. Sherrod Blakely, Kyle Draper, and Chris Forsberg discussed Lowry's untimely injury and the impact it could have on the C's-Raptors series in a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast.
Blakely expects Lowry, as tough as he is, to play through the ailment vs. Boston.
"It's going to take a hell of an injury to keep Kyle Lowry off the floor," Blakely said. "I absolutely 100 percent believe he's going to play. Now, will he be 100 percent? Probably not. But still, Kyle, he's just tough, man ...
"Kyle Lowry's one of my favorite players because he's just so gritty. And you look at this skill set, I mean, he doesn't have like Kyrie Irving ankle-breaking -- he doesn't have Kemba Walker's stepback, he's not this great athlete like Zach LaVine. He's just a baller."
If Lowry does miss time, Forsberg believes that completely changes the outlook of the series.
"We did this with Gordon Hayward before we knew what the injury was going to be. If Lowry is out, that makes a world of a difference. All of a sudden I feel way more bullish about the Celtics' chances. Even a compromised Lowry I think evens this thing up even moreso."
"I think we all sat here and said it's going to be a seven-game series. Then Gordon got hurt and we were like, 'Alright, that complicates matters for the Celtics but maybe they can still push them.' You take Lowry out of the equation, I think that swings the pendulum the other way in terms of the Celtics maybe being the favorite in the series.
On the plus side for Toronto, Lowry has a few days recover before Game 1 on Thursday. But this situation certainly isn't ideal for arguably the hottest team in the East.
Also discussed on the new episode: Did the Sixers series go as predicted? Who was the Celtics' first-round MVP? What was the most surprising thing from the series? And how important will the C's bench be vs. Toronto?