Two weeks later, Smart hasn’t returned – and won’t soon.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
“Three weeks away from the injury would still be very aggressive,” Stevens said. “I don’t see him playing anytime in the near future. Hopefully in a couple weeks he can rejoin us.”
Boston is 5-3 (+8.0 per game) with Smart starting and 6-5 (+3.1 per game) otherwise.
Smart brings balance to the Celtics. He’s a strong defender who grants more leeway for Boston to play offensive-minded players with him. He’s also raw as a distributor, which forces the Celtics – usually to their benefit with Stevens calling plays – to all share the ball offensively. And his place in the starting lineup allows Isaiah Thomas or Avery Bradley to bring a scoring punch off the bench.
The Celtics can get by without Smart, but they’ll have a much easier time succeeding whenever he returns.