The Boston Celtics got one point guard back for their matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, but they still won’t be in full health.
Marcus Smart won’t play in the contest Friday night due to right ankle inflammation. It will be the second straight game missed for the veteran guard.
Prior to facing the Pelicans, Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla provided an injury update on Smart as the team in proceeding carefully with him and not rushing him back onto the court.
“It’s something that he’s managed and he’s done a good job managing,” Mazzulla told reporters, per CLNS Media. “We checked the swelling on it and it just hasn’t gone down. So, we’re just being cautious. Hopefully, it’ll go down.”
Even without Smart in the lineup Wednesday, the Celtics still scored 126 points to storm past the Atlanta Hawks. But Smart is certainly key to orchestrating the offensive unit with his playmaking ability. In his last six games played, Smart totaled 56 assists while only committing nine turnovers.
The way the Celtics are rolling, they can afford to give Smart extra time to heal, especially this early in the season and with the Pelicans shorthanded as well. Star forward Zion Williamson won’t suit up for the contest.
The Celtics have two days off after facing the Pelicans and cap their three-game road trip in Chicago with a tilt against the Bulls on Monday. The days off certainly could help get Smart back onto the court sooner, but if how the Celtics handled Malcolm Brogdon’s ailment is any indication, they could continue being cautious with Smart.