With Celtics Kyrie Irving injured, Boston moved Terry Rozier into the starting lineup and Shane Larkin into the rotation.
Now, the Celtics must make do without Larkin.
It’s foreseeable the Celtics, up 3-1, beat the 76ers in Game 5 tonight and advance. So, it seems unlikely Larkin will be ready for (at least the start of) the conference finals if Boston gets there.
Rozier has stepped up after a promising regular season. But he’s already playing 37 minutes per game in the playoffs. How many more can he handle?
Expect Marcus Smart to spend more time at point guard. He’s still needed plenty at shooting guard with Jaylen Brown on a minute restriction, but Smart will have to pull double duty.
Boston with Smart at point guard in the regular season:
- Offensive rating: 100.3 (bad)
- Defensive rating: 91.5 (great)
- Net rating: +8.8 (good)
This makes sense. Smart is an excellent defender, and using him at point guard allows the Celtics to put another bigger, better defender on the court. Smart’s lackluster scoring hurts more when the ball is in his hands more.
Larkin’s injury means Boston loses to ability to selectively deploy Smart at point guard, as the Celtics could during the regular season, probably boosting their numbers with him there.
Facing even more injury woes, Boston must just use its dwindling supply of players and hope for the best.