Celtics vs. Heat injury updates: Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III active for Game 5; Tyler Herro remains out

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Neither the Boston Celtics nor the Miami Heat are entirely healthy in the Eastern Conference Finals, but one team received significantly better news than the other in the hours leading up to Game 5. Marcus Smart, who is struggling with a sprained ankle, and Robert Williams III, who has been struggling with a knee injury all postseason, both will play in Game 5 against Miami Wednesday. Heat guard Tyler Herro dealing with a groin injury, will sit out again.

Herro’s absence is not particularly surprising. He missed Game 4, a loss in Miami, and ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that his regular-season groin injury is the type of problem that usually keeps a player out for 2-4 weeks. The Heat only scored 82 points without him in Game 4 and with injuries Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry also struggling with, Herro’s absence will significantly affect Miami’s shot creation.

After going through the first four games of this series without at least one player, the Celtics will finally have their full roster at their disposal in Game 5. Smart and Al Horford missed Game 1, Derrick White missed Game 2, Williams bet Game 3 and Smart was out for Game 4. All that remains for Boston to answer now is how many minutes it’s willing to field Smart and Williams, and what adjustments to make to its rotation accordingly to accommodate a full roster. Smart and Williams are likely to be in their typical starting positions on Wednesday.

We haven’t seen a single game in this series that wasn’t impacted by injuries in some way, shape or form. With the series scheduled to wrap up no later than Sunday, it’s unlikely we’ll do that. Whichever team makes the NBA Finals from the East will have done so despite injuries that would have brought down smaller teams, but Boston and Miami are here for a reason. Both have deep rosters that can replace key players when needed. Miami is put to the test in Game 5 without Herro.

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