Celtics boosted with Marcus Smart eyeing playoff return

NBA Celtics playoffs schedule first round start time

The U of L alum waited for his chance, and took advantage in spectacular fashion.

There was no bigger game this year for both the Pacers and breakout star Victor Oladipo than the win over the Cavaliers back on December 8, a game in which Oladipo signified that his outstanding first month was not a fluke, finishing with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists while shooting 6-for-13 from the 3-point line. This should be a tough and hard-fought series for both teams and should be full of excitement. And with good reason: James has been on the Eastern Conference champ in every postseason since 2011. But he said he must do a better job the defensive end against Horford going forward.

Though seeded second in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors and boasting one of the top defenses in the National Basketball Association, the Celtics were dealt a major blow last week when it was announced their star point guard and team leader Kyrie Irving would not be available for the playoffs because of a knee injury he sustained last month.

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It was 92-91 with less than a minute to play when a pair of free throws by Horford made it 94-91. That game gives us the best sense of what the playoff series will hold, as it featured most of the players the two teams will have available.

Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis where all lost due to injury. With Kyrie Irving joining Hayward on the sidelines for the rest of the season late in March, that task has become even more hard. "So the thumb felt well", Smart told reporters.

The two sides are pretty evenly matched on the court, despite the injuries of Hayward and Irving for the Celtics, with maybe Milwaukee having an edge, but the main difference between the two teams is the coaching. Many players stepped up for the team and contributed on a massive scale. That means head coach Brad Stevens will be depending heavily on youngsters Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

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Just winning a draw and trying to get a forecheck going, create a little energy... "And I think we work hard to fix those things". Like all those making the trip south for the game, Smith will be battling some severe road and weather conditions along the way.

The Bucks, on the other hand, have had a solid year as well.

Giannis will have help this year in the form of a new back court featuring a healthy Jabari Parker and newcomer Eric Bledsoe. "Love the opportunity to play for the Boston Celtics".

The regular season series between these two teams is tied at two games each. The Bucks allow 106.8. The Celtics claimed victory in the October 26 game, 96-89 and the December 4th game 110-100. The Celtics were 24-14 ATS against teams above.500. Brown is enjoying a career year for the team and Tatum has been a great addition to his rookie campaign. Whether or not he can pull off the upset in the first round remains to be seen. Antetokoumpo is an incredibly risky player and is a tough player to defend against because of his versatility and skills.

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This time around, we have a number of players who will be playing a postseason game for the first time in their lives.

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