The Boston Celtics (19-17) have been without Marcus Smart, one of their biggest contributors, for a full month now and have struggled to win games in his absence. With the league entering the All-Star break, it’s time for a Marcus Smart injury update and breaking down when we should expect to see him back in the Celtics’ lineup.
Smart suffered a left calf tear in the third quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 30th. The original timetable suggested 2-3 weeks of recovery before Smart could realistically be back in action. However, as we pass the four-week mark since the injury the question remains: When will Smart be back?
When Will Smart return?
In an interview before the Celtics matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 2nd, head coach Brad Stevens suggested that Smart was “getting a lot closer” and that he would likely miss the first game back from the All-Star break.
This means Smart will have the chance to play against the Houston Rockets on March 14th and will almost certainly play in an important game against the Utah Jazz (who currently hold the top record in the league) on March 16th.
This is great news for Boston as they have struggled in the 19 games without their star defender. Over that span, the Celtics went 10-9 and posted an awful -2.3 net rating. In the games Smart has played this season, the Celtics have a 3.0 net rating, proving his value to the team.
On the season, Smart is averaging 13.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 39 percent from the floor. With Smart returning to the lineup soon, the Celtics could jump right back into the discussion of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Main image credit: