The Celtics lost a sparkplug for the foreseeable future.
Marcus Smart has a partial avulsion of his left oblique abdominal muscle off of his iliac crest and is expected to miss four to six weeks, the Celtics announced Wednesday. ESPN notes this could mean he is out for the first two rounds of the postseason.
Marcus Smart has suffered a torn oblique on left side and could be sidelined for the first two rounds of the playoffs, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2019
Smart, 25, is averaging 8.9 points, four assists and 2.9 rebounds this season, but what he does goes far beyond the numbers.
He’s the type of player who will dive for loose balls, take charges, bring energy and he won’t back down from anyone.
Coach Brad Stevens has always praised Smart’s defense and he was stumping for him to earn the appropriate recognition for his efforts this season.
“I really hope Marcus finally gets recognized as an All-Defensive team member,” Stevens said in March. “We’ve thought ever since he got here that he’s one of the best defenders in the league.”
Smart being out is a serious blow to the Celtics on the defensive end, and with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown a little banged up, as well, Boston is not near 100 percent coming into a playoff matchup with the Pacers.
Fortunately for Boston, it is very deep with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford providing some much-needed stability, but against a scrappy team in Indiana, the Celtics’ job could be a little bit harder.