Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have both issued their injury reports ahead of Game 4 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals Monday night at TD Garden. The C’s have dodged at least one big bullet on the health front.

Jayson Tatum will be back in the starting lineup in Game 4 Monday night, after the Celtics listed with what they termed a “right cervical nerve impingement.” That’s a stinger in the neck, in layman’s terms. Tatum briefly left Game 3 before returning with the injury.

Celtics point guard Marcus Smart remains questionable for Game 4 with a right ankle sprain, with a little over an hour to go until tip-off. Smart has battled a smattering of injuries during the playoffs, including a mid-foot sprain prior to the ankle issue. Center Robert Williams III also remains questionable, in his case with left knee soreness. Williams’ knee has been barking at him on and off since he returned from meniscus surgery.

Head coach Ime Udoka said in his pregame press availability that Smart and Williams “will go through some testing soon to see if they can play.” So, consider each of them a game-time decision.

Forward Sam Hauser remains out of the lineup, as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury. The team has described his issues as an “instability episode.”

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Miami, meanwhile, has a bit of an unexpected absence according to their injury scares from Game 3. Guard Tyler Herro was officially ruled out for Game 4 with a groin injury. After scoring 18 points off the bench for the Heat in Game 1, Herro went cold offensively in Games 2-3. He shot just 1-of-14 from downtown over the first three games of the series.

The Heat designated five more players as planning to “warm up with the intent to play.” Chief among them is starting forward Jimmy Butler, who is dealing with a knee injury that knocked him out of Game 3 early. Guards Kyle Lowry and Gabe Vincent (hamstrings), and forwards Max Strus (hamstring) and P.J. Tucker (knee), will all warm up along with Butler, and it sounds like all five guys will be available.

The Celtics and Heat tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday night at TD Garden. You can watch the game on ABC and get the call on 98.5 The Sports Hub, starting with pregame coverage at 8.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.


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More end-of-season recognition for Marcus Smart

  • Earlier this offseason, Marcus Smart became the first guard since Gary Payton in 1996 to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. While that will likely be the highlight of his individual post-season awards, it’s not his only one.

    On Friday night, the NBA announced the 2021-2022 All-Defense teams, and Smart was at the top of the list. With 99 first-place votes and 198 points, Smart received more recognition than any other player in the league, landing him in a first-team guard spot.

    This is the third All-Defense nod for Smart, all coming in the last four years. He was also named All-Defense First Team in 2019 and 2020.

  • Smart isn’t the only Celtics player represented on the All-Defense teams. Robert Williams received three first-place votes and 64 second-place votes, which earned him the Second Team All-Defense center spot. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was named to the First Team.

    Williams finished the season averaging a career-high 2.2 blocks per game in 61 games. That ranked second in the NBA behind Jaren Jackson Jr. of Memphis, who was named First Team All-Defense as a forward.

    This is the first All-Defense nod and the first postseason recognition of any kind for Williams in his NBA career. He was a two-time SEC Defensive player of the Year during his time at Texas A&M.

    While no other Celtics players were named to the All-Defense team, the team’s other three starters all received votes. Jayson Tatum earned one first-place vote and two second place votes, and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford got one first-place vote each.

    It’s not surprising to see the Celtics so well represented in this voting. They allowed a league-low 104.3 points per game this season, and 102.5 points per game since January 1.

    The Celtics will look to lean on that defense with a chance to take a lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. That series shifts back to Boston on Saturday tied at 1-1. Coverage of Game 3 begins at 8:00 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the 98.5 The Sports Hub Celtics Radio Network.

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