The Celtics ruled out Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart before Boston welcomed the Milwaukee Bucks back to TD Garden for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Smart suffered a thigh contusion in Game 1, which Celtics head coach Ime Udoka noted was “pretty bad,” and will not be able to go. Smart continued to finish Game 1 despite suffering both the thigh and shoulder injury during the first half.
Smart’s absence could serve as a massive void for the Celtics on the floor, but oddsmakers have not overreacted. The Celtics, who entered Game 1 as a five-point favorite, opened Game 2 as a 4.5-point favorite before jumping to hold a five-point edge on the spread Monday.
DraftKings revealed Tuesday afternoon that 69% of the spread bets were on the Bucks (+5) to cover, but 75% of the money was on the Celtics (-5).
Smart, in addition to being the best defensive player on the team, has turned into a strong distributor for the Celtics offense. Smart has averaged 15.2 points and 6.8 assists per game in five playoff contests for Boston.
Udoka shared that Derrick White will start in place of Smart on Tuesday night as the Celtics look to tie up the best-of-seven series.