The Celtics are ravaged with injuries as the playoffs approach. The reports surrounding Kyrie Irving’s knee keep getting more ominous, even though head coach Brad Stevens says he still views the injury as “day-to-day.” Jaylen Brown is still in concussion protocol and Marcus Smart has been ruled out indefinitely. Even in the best case scenario, it looks like the Celtics will be hindered this postseason.
Fortunately for them, other Eastern Conference contenders are in rough shape as well.
The Cavaliers have battled injuries this month, with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. all missing time. It appeared as if Hood and Thompson could return from their long absences against the Raptors Wednesday, but both were eventually ruled out.
Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue has been sidelined due to health issues as well.
With LeBron James picking up his Superman act –– he’s averaging a triple-double over his last 25 games –– the Cavaliers’ injuries may not matter all that much. But it’s apparent James is gearing up for another title run with a hobbled supporting cast.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, perhaps the second best player in the East, is now hobbled himself. He sprained his right ankle Wednesday and is doubtful for Milwaukee’s matchup on Friday.
The other teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture –– Washington, Indiana and Miami –– have struggled to stay healthy for most of the season. John Wall has been sidelined since late January. The Pacers are playing without Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. The Heat, who are one game ahead of the Bucks for the No. 7 seed, are trying to hold onto their spot with Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane Wade out of action.
The good news for the Celtics doesn’t extend to the top of the conference. The Raptors are healthy and in command of the No. 1 seed. And yet, they lost to the James-led Cavs Wednesday, despite scoring 79 points in one half.
But even with Irving (literally) limping into the playoffs, it looks like the Celtics can still stack up against most of their competition. Misery has company.
Full article @ Fortunately for Celtics, most other Eastern Conference contenders also ravaged with injuries
Source: GreenStreet Blog