Prior to their away game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics are still injured. The status of Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, two crucial parts of what might very well be a championship machine come June, was updated for the fans by head coach Joe Mazzulla.
According to Mazzulla via NBC Sports Boston, Brown is receiving a maintenance day following a recent strong workout while Smart is still questionable with a sprained right ankle. Brown missed three games due to an abductor strain but returned last week.
Although this is not ideal news, the Boston Celtics can afford to control the minutes and health of their players because they have a four-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference. especially when it involves the current NBA Defensive Player of the Year, a former All-Star, and maybe this season as well.
It is unsurprising that Brown sat out the second game of a back-to-back given that he has played more than 37 minutes in each of the three games he has participated in since returning from injury. In Monday’s defeat to the Orlando Magic, he scored 26 points on more than 45 percent of his shots from the field, which is encouraging news that he is recovering quickly.
Smart’s condition might continue to be day-to-day for a while because ankle problems can be more challenging to manage. He will miss his second straight game this time. Smart is presently matching his greatest field goal % and averaging a career-high 7.2 assists per game (42.2). It is always difficult to replace him in his roles as the Celtics’ emotional leader and main defender of star players on the other team.
The good news for Celtics supporters is that Brown and Smart will likely soon be used as regulars in the starting lineup. When evaluating the team’s health moving forward, Mazzulla probably will take into mind the team’s long-term, NBA title hopes. Prior to the Heat game, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart of the Celtics receive critical injury updates.