Just how long will the Celtics guard remain sidelined?
One league source said Smart’s outlook “doesn’t look good.” Ainge, meanwhile, acknowledged that surgery could be an option for the fourth-year guard, but said that Smart is hoping to take the next few days to see how the injury responds to treatment. He said Smart will also seek a second opinion from a hand specialist.
“Anything is possible now,” Ainge said. “I just don’t know yet.”
The ultra-competitive Smart will probably try to play if he can. But, in a contract year, he ought to consider his long-term health. Isaiah Thomas, whom Boston ran into the ground then discarded, should serve as an important example.
Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Daniel Theis and Gordon Hayward are also out for the Celtics, who host the Wizards tonight. Expect more Terry Rozier, Shane Larkin, Semi Ojeleye and Guerschon Yabusele than usual.
Boston (46-21) is probably locked into second place in the Eastern Conference. The first-place Raptors are 4.0 games ahead and the third-place Pacers are 6.5 games behind.
So, that should allow the Celtics to focus on getting everyone healthy for the playoffs rather than rushing anyone back.