The news wasn’t good concerning the health and status of Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart entering the playoffs. Here are three players who must help fill the void.
The Boston Celtics just can’t catch a break this season when it comes to health. Actually, they haven’t been able to catch the break the last two seasons since the new big three of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford were brought together.
Last season entering the playoffs, the Celtics were without Hayward and Irving. This season they will be without Marcus Smart.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday, Smart suffered a torn oblique on the left side in Sunday’s matchup against the Orlando Magic. While hope was optimistic following that game, it appears Marcus Smart could potentially miss the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Obviously, this is not good news for a Boston Celtics team that was finally starting to get it together and look like the Eastern Conference favorites they were coming into the season. Averaging 8.9 points, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game, Smart doesn’t light it up offensively, but as every Celtics fan knows, his importance to the team goes beyond the stat line.
Not only has Smart improved his outside shot this season, he has become an effective passer and has the proven reputation of being the team’s best defender. Furthermore, he is an emotional leader who leaves his all on the court. From that stand point, he can’t be replaced.
As far as what he can do offensively and defensively, his absence will call on the following three players to step up in the playoffs and fill the void left by Marcus Smart.