The Celtics are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals for yet another showdown with LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
But backup point guard Shane Larkin, who was ruled out of last night’s game due to a shoulder strain, is unlikely to join them, according to Celtics president Danny Ainge, who joined Toucher and Rich on Thursday.
“Shane is not gonna play this weekend, and we’ll just take it week by week,” Ainge said when asked about Larkin’s status. “He has a strained shoulder, but it’s very, very painful and I just don’t know if he can do it.”
Which is one way of saying that the Celtics do not know if and when the 5-foot-11 guard will return.
“I don’t know when he’ll be back,” Ainge said. “We’re not sure. Maybe towards the latter part of this series, there’s a chance. But we’re not counting on it. We’re counting and planning on going forward without Shane.”
The 25-year-old Larkin has averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 assists in his 14 minutes per game this postseason, and is shooting 45.7 percent from the field. This loss undoubtedly tests the Celtics’ backcourt depth even further, though, as they are obviously still without the services of Kyrie Irving (knee, done for the season). With Larkin unavailable in Game 5, Terry Rozier logged a 40-minute night, while Marcus Smart played in 33 minutes off the Boston bench.
You can listen to Ainge’s complete interview with Toucher and Rich in Hour 4 of Thursday’s show.