The Boston Celtics will not have veteran guard Marcus Smart at their disposal for their preseason finale this Friday against the Miami Heat. Smart will not be available for that game because he has been suspended by the team.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Smart was suspended for missing the team’s flight to Florida earlier this week.
Judging by Smart’s reaction to this suspension, it doesn’t sound like he’ll miss the Celtics’ regular season opener against the New York Knicks next week.
“We’re going to keep that in-house,” Smart said when asked about his suspension. “It’s over and done with. We’re excited for the game at MSG, though.”
Smart missed the team flight to Orlando, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/jsE7GlYFkN
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2021
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka also commented on Smart’s suspension. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t have much to say about what went on behind the scenes.
“It’s internal,” Udoka said, via ESPN. “We’ve handled it. He’s remorseful, and we hold Marcus to a high standard. We’ve made it clear from Day 1, so he’ll obviously be out tomorrow night. He’s with us here on the trip. Just look forward to moving on from this growing and obviously abiding by the team rules and principles.”
Smart, who is considered one of the leaders on the Celtics, averaged 13.1 points and 5.7 assists per game during the 2020-21 season.
If the Celtics are going to be the best version of themselves this upcoming season, they’ll need Smart at his best. That means he can’t afford to be unreliable once the regular season begins.