Celtics’ Jayson Tatum hopes to play in Game 1 of playoffs

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Boston plays the Indiana Pacers in the first round, with a likely matchup against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.

The Boston Celtics will be without guard Marcus Smart for possibly the first two rounds of the playoffs because of a torn left oblique, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Per an official statement from the Celtics, Smart is expected to miss between four and six weeks as an afternoon MRI revealed a "partial avulsion of his left oblique abdominal muscle off of his iliac crest".

The Athletic's Celtics reporter Jay King reported that Tatum was hopeful of being available for Game 1 against the Pacers after completing practice on Wednesday.

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Smart, 25, has averaged 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4 assists, but his defense and grittiness separates him, especially in the playoffs.

Smart's injury occurred at the 6:44 mark in the third quarter of the Celtics' 116-108 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The 21-year-old's partnership with Kyrie Irving, who will be playing his first playoff match for the Celtics after missing last season with injury, will be key if they are to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Boston eventually called a timeout, and Smart limped to the bench - only to convince the training staff that he was all right and could stay in the game.

After relieving Jason Kidd of his head coaching duties, the Bucks have found a new voice in Mike Budenholzer, a Coach of the Year candidate who is responsible for making Milwaukee the best defensive team in the National Basketball Association and fourth overall in offensive efficiency.

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