By now, we are all aware that Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has had hand surgery to aid a torn tendon. Smart is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, after successful surgery. However, there is always the chance that he won’t be able to return this season. But assuming he does, with Smart being one of the more valuable players on this team, how will they compete for the next 6-8 weeks without Smart (or, again, rest of year).
Smart is averaging 10 points, four assists, and three rebounds per game, on average. Those are not whopping numbers, no one would argue they are. However, there is a league-wide consensus that Smart is far better than the numbers would tell. His first couple seasons, we probably only noticed it here, in Boston. Now, years later, the NBA as a whole surely understands the player Marcus Smart is.
So with all of those beyond-the-numbers-benefits that Smart has to offer now sidelined, how will the team fair? If, and it is a big if, Smart does come back this season, it will be around early to mid-May.
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Meaning, the Celtics will have to play a chunk of the playoffs without him, possibly the first two rounds. Again, if the timeline is predicted correctly, Smart can come back in time for the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics have a low chance of getting through the first two rounds, regardless of who they play, of the NBA Playoffs without Smart’s impact on the game. If he is sidelined, it’d be tough for them to win any kind of series.
We have seen the ‘No Marcus Effect’ before. Earlier this season, Smart was out with yet another hand injury. The team went just above .500 without him. However, they lost to teams like Toronto, Cleveland, and Indiana. Those three teams make up the other top-4 seeds in the East currently. So, Smart’s absence clearly hurts the team, that much is clear. So again, the Celtics don’t stand much of a chance to make a playoff push if they are without Marcus Smart.
This is not meant to be a ‘knock the C’s’ type of article. Luckily, this is not a year that fans truly believed the green would win a ring.
PS: We haven’t even mentioned the season-ending surgery of Daniel Theis. Yet another energy guy off the bench. That, though some may disagree, is a huge blow.