Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart left Wednesday night’s game against the New York Knicks and headed to the locker room with a left ankle injury. CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely reports the sprained ankle will keep Smart out “a couple weeks,” meaning he’ll miss the season opener.
Prior to his departure, Smart played 16 minutes, scored six points, chipped in two assists and grabbed one rebound.
Smart’s ankle history pre-dates him back to November 2014 when he missed 10 games with a left ankle sprain. During his rookie year, he started 38 games, before starting only 10 last season. He found his role off the bench for the Celtics, averaging 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, backing up All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas.
The sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma State, Smart declared for the draft after his sophomore season. He shot 29.9 percent from three-point range, a part of his game that has not still not developed, as he has shot 29.6 percent in his first two NBA seasons.
His career arc has been that of a superstar: Mr. Basketball in Texas, a McDonald’s All-American his senior year of high school, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, two-time First-Team Big-12 selection and All-Rookie Second Team. A tenacious defender who has averaged a steal-and-a-half per game his first two seasons, his development will be contingent upon his offensive repertoire expanding.
He’ll be the first guard off the bench for Boston when healthy, with Isaiah Thomas at the point and Avery Bradley starting at the shooting-guard spot. The team is coming off a 48-34 record in the 2015-16 season, but they were swiftly eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks.