Marcus Smart to Start for Celtics After Isaiah Thomas Ruled out with Hip Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2017

BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Marcus Smart will get the start in Game 3 for the Boston Celtics in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas, per A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN.

Amir Johnson is also expected to join the starting lineup, alongside the usual collection of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Al Horford. This would put Gerald Green on the bench after the forward started seven games this postseason.

The Celtics go on the road Sunday to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Smart had a strong third season in the NBA while averaging a career-high 10.6 points per game. Unfortunately, he has struggled this series with just 10 total points scored in 46 minutes across two games.

He was 0-of-6 from the field in Game 2 while finishing minus-24 on the court.

Johnson has been in and out of the starting lineup throughout the postseason, although he hasn't been very effective regardless of where he begins the game. He played just five minutes and scored zero points after starting Game 1 of the series, then scored two points in 12 minutes off the bench in Game 2.

The Celtics will need both players to step up after declaring Thomas out for the rest of the year due to a hip injury. The All-Star averaged 28.9 PPG during the regular season and was a major reason the squad reached this point in the postseason.

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