WALTHAM, Mass. – No disrespect to Shane Larkin, but the news of him being out for Game 5 tonight got nothing more than a shoulder shrug from Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
That’s because Larkin being out with a left shoulder injury is the latest setback for a team that has had plenty of them all season.
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And yet here they are, one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, where the Cleveland Cavaliers, having swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors earlier this week, will be waiting.
“I don’t anticipate him back anytime soon,” said Stevens. Larkin, the C's backup point guard, was injured when he collided with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in the first half of Game 4. He immediately left the game and didn't return.
While Larkin did not play major minutes for Boston, his presence was among the many factors that have led to Boston jumping out to a 3-0 series lead against Philadelphia.
“We’re just going to have other guys step up,” Stevens said. “We’re used to that. At the end of the day, it is what it is.”
Stevens added, “He’s played well in this series and has done a lot of great things for us all year and through the playoffs. It’s a bummer for him. That’s where you always start in these scenarios. And then we’ll figure it out.”
Without Larkin, the Celtics may rely on Terry Rozier to play longer shifts than we’ve seen thus far in this series.
When speaking to the media prior to the team’s morning shoot-around, Rozier said he didn’t know Larkin was out.
“We just have to do what we can,” Rozier said. “This has been our team. We had to get Game 1 without Jaylen Brown. It’s the story of this team; that’s just how it goes.”
Larkin has played in all 11 of Boston’s playoff games this year, averaging 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.
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