You knew that Avery Bradley was out with a pulled hamstring (which cost the Celtics the win in my totally-not-at-all-biased opinion), but there’s more sad news on the injury front. Kelly Olynyk is down with an injury to the same shoulder that caused him to miss a chunk of the season. YAYYY!!!!
Marcus Smart will start in Bradley’s spot, which we all expected once we saw Bradley go down. Evan Turner wasn’t on point in Game 1, which probably bodes well for tonight since he’s not exactly consistent, at least with his shooting stroke. Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson will both play a ton of minutes tonight, naturally. An underrated stroke of luck that the Celtics have been given involves the schedule, as the C’s had/have 2 full days off before Game 1, 2, and 3. If the C’s were playing on an every other day schedule, Game 3 would be tomorrow, which would make it less likely that Olynyk would be able to play. At it stands, he has a much better shot of coming back for the Celtics’ first home playoff game on Friday.
Marcus Smart will be the biggest X-factor in tonight’s game. The good news for C’s fans is that Smart finally showed what he’s capable of in Game 1. He did everything — including shooting from deep — well on Saturday, and Smart defenders got a little bit of vindication.
The bad news? Smart will have to somehow improve on his Game 1 performance tonight. Not only can he not regress at all, but he has to build on his previous play, which will obviously be a huge challenge for an inconsistent, shooting-challenged, 2nd year 22 year old. He has the heart and the balls to get it done, though, and even if the C’s get bounced in this series way faster than we all expected, we’ll learn a lot about whether or not the Celtics have a franchise player already on the roster.