Celtics' Marcus Smart Enters NBA's Health and Safety Protocols, Out vs. 76ers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2022

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Boston Celtics announced guard Marcus Smart entered the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will miss Friday night's road game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Smart missed significant time last season because of a calf injury and has never played more than 80 games in a campaign.

When healthy, he is an integral part of Boston's playoff hopes as someone who impacts the game on both ends of the floor. He averaged 13.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks a night while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from deep in 2020-21.

He has followed with 11.6 points per game in 38 games so far in 2021-22.

The two-time All-Defensive selection frequently guards the opponent's best player, can attack off the bounce, facilitate for others and hit open looks when defenders collapse on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

While that duo will continue to spearhead the offensive attack if Smart is sidelined, look for the combination of Dennis Schroder, Payton Pritchard and Josh Richardson to see more time as well.

Boston plays three games in four days starting with Friday's clash with the Sixers, which will put its depth to the test.