The Boston Celtics will be short-handed when they visit San Francisco and Sacramento this week.
Guard Marcus Smart sustained a Grade 1 tear of the left medial gastrocnemius (calf strain) during Boston’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, and will miss 2-3 weeks, the Celtics announced Sunday.
That means the two-time NBA All-Defensive selection will miss the games Tuesday against the Warriors and Wednesday against the Kings.
Smart, who is averaging a career-high 13.1 points in 17 games so far this season, is a defensive stalwart, so the Warriors and Kings won’t complain about not seeing him this week.
The Celtics, led by young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, are expected to contend for the Eastern Conference title this year and are 10-8 entering Tuesday’s game against the Warriors. They sit in fifth place in the East. Losing Smart for the next seven to 12 games isn’t what Boston needs.
Despite the severity of the injury, Smart believes he will be back sooner rather than later.
The Warriors and Kings are fighting for every win they can get right now, so Smart missing the games this week raises the chances of them coming away with victories.