Former SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick used to say, “so-and-so was listed as day-to-day, but then again, aren’t we all?” For the Celtics and their injury report during the Eastern Conference Finals, no truer words have been spoken.
After officially being listed as questionable yesterday, Marcus Smart (right sprained ankle) and Robert Williams (left knee soreness) remain game-time decisions for tonight’s pivotal Game 5 in Miami. Smart left and returned in Game 3 after sustaining that sprain and subsequently missed the Game 4 blowout. Williams missed the final four games against the Bucks and Game 3 against the Heat from reoccurring swelling and soreness in his surgically repaired knee. It’s normal immediately after surgery and something that head coach Ime Udoka has said Williams will continue to deal with throughout the remainder of their playoff run.
Ime Udoka offers a health update on Marcus Smart and Robert Williams ahead of tonight's Game 5 against the Heat pic.twitter.com/mbRROsDKLp— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 25, 2022
“Both feeling better. Marcus still has some swelling and pain and soreness. They will test it out pre-game and see how they feel,” Udoka said at shootaround this morning.
“At this time of year, injuries aren’t uncommon, but the amount of guys on the questionable list from game-to-game is kind of alarming. We’ve been dealing with it, especially with the Rob situation for awhile. Like I said, he’s pretty much day-to-day for the rest of the playoffs. It’s something we have to manage and kind of work around. They’re going through their own thing — they’ve got quite a few guys banged up as well. Sometimes, luck plays into it and health is a big part of that. We have to make do with what we have. Both teams have done that and won with players out just like we have throughout the playoffs.”
Derrick White missed Game 3 for the birth of his son and Al Horford missed Game 1 in the league’s health and safety protocols.
The Heat did not hold shootaround this morning, so their injury status is even more vague. Yesterday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Tyler Herro’s groin injury was something that would normally take 2-4 weeks to heal but he’s “pushing to play” and Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry would most likely be sitting out if this was the regular season. The official Miami Heat injury report includes Max Strus (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring, and P.J. Tucker (knee) with all players listed as questionable.
Tonight is Game 5 of a conference final deadlocked at 2-2. If they can play, they’ll play, but we probably won’t know if they do until right before tip-off.