The Boston Celtics are rolling right now, winning eight consecutive games to move into the top six in the Eastern Conference. Defense has been at the forefront for the Celtics all season and, while there is plenty of credit to go around, veteran guard Marcus Smart is a key piece of the team’s resistance. On Tuesday, the Celtics appeared to be well on their way to a ninth straight win, building a 24-point lead late in the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, the positive vibes were quelled when Smart went down in visible pain and holding his right ankle.
Marcus Smart heads to the locker room. A look at the play that caused the injury here: pic.twitter.com/rTzJ6SUtDq
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 16, 2022
The video shows that Smart was immediately in agony, and it didn’t take long for the Celtics to indicate that he would not return to the game with what the team is calling a right ankle sprain.
Marcus Smart sprained his right ankle and will not return tonight, per the Celtics.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 16, 2022
Smart will almost certainly receive additional evaluation in the coming hours, and hopefully the injury is not one that will sideline him long-term. The Celtics moved to acquire Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs before the trade deadline, and that move gives Boston some insurance in the form of a strong defender and ball-handler at the point of attack. Still, the team’s vision includes both Smart and White, and Boston would certainly be weakened if Smart had to miss any extended period of time.