Celtics starting point guard Marcus Smart and starting center Robert Williams have both been listed as questionable for a critical Game 5 tomorrow in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Heat, Boston announced (Twitter link).
Smart has a right ankle sprain. Williams missed Game 3 with a sore knee, but proved to be a key defensive contributor in Boston’s 102-82 blowout Game 4 victory over Miami.
The Heat, meanwhile, have listed a whopping five role players as questionable ahead of Wednesday’s home contest. Miami has announced (via Twitter) that starting point guard Kyle Lowry, starting shooting guard Max Strus, starting power forward P.J. Tucker, and crucial reserves Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro all have murky availability for the next game in the 2-2 series.
Lowry, Strus and Vincent are all grappling with hamstring injuries, while Tucker is dealing with left knee irritation. Lowry missed the first two games of the series with his left hamstring strain, and returned in a productive Game 3. In that game, Lowry chipped in 11 points, six assists and four steals. Vincent started in Lowry’s stead for the first two contests. Smart and Herro both sat for Game 4.
Herro was sidelined for Game 4 with a groin injury he suffered during Game 3, a 109-103 Heat victory. The injury could be a lingering problem.
“From what I’m told, this is an injury, this groin injury he has, that would normally keep him out two-to-four weeks if this was the regular season, but he is pushing really hard to play, either in the next game or the game after that,” Ramona Shelburne said today during an ESPN appearance (Twitter video link).
In addition to Game 4, Smart – the newly-minted Defensive Player of the Year – also missed Game 1 of the series due to a right mid-foot sprain. He has been incredibly productive when available during the series, averaging 20.0 PPG, 9.5 APG, and 6.5 RPG in the second and third contests of these Eastern Conference Finals.