Celtics’ Marcus Smart Casts Doubt On Game 4 Status Vs. Hawks

Smart took a hard fall on his tailbone late Friday night


Apr 22, 2023

Marcus Smart took a hard fall on his tailbone late in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Friday, and the Boston Celtics guard wasn’t feeling too great the following day.

Last season’s Defensive Player of the Year attempted to grab a rebound from Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela, but teammate Al Horford also was in the area, and Smart fell on his back. He admitted he was “sore” after the game, but it appeared the 29-year-old reaggravated an injury he came into the NBA playoffs with. The ninth-year guard finished the last two minutes of the Celtics’ loss.

Smart said he wanted to sleep on it, and he told reporters Saturday morning he’s still sore, and he’s unsure he will be able to play in Game 4, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.

The Celtics guard has built a reputation around the league as being one of the toughest players in the NBA, so it would not be surprising if Smart toughed it out and played Sunday to prevent the Hawks from tying up the best-of-seven first-round series.

If Smart was unable to suit up, that would leave a big hole defensively against Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, who each got a boost from playing in front of the Atlanta crowd, which also gave it to Malcolm Brogdon.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla has been tight-lipped on his rotations, even to his own players, so it’s not known if Smart’s absence would open up more minutes for players like Payton Pritchard or Sam Hauser — Grant Williams and Derrick White could earn more minutes, and Boston opts to go with lineups featuring more size.

The answers to those questions will be answered Sunday with tipoff at State Farm Arena is scheduled at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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