Report: Celtics' Marcus Smart Had MRI on Foot Injury; Status for Game 1 vs. Heat TBD

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2022

BOSTON, MA - MAY 01  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against teh Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on May 1, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart underwent an MRI for a midfoot sprain, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported there remains a level of optimism about his availability for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, which tips off Tuesday.

The newly minted Defensive Player of the Year missed Game 2 of Boston's Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Milwaukee Bucks because of a right thigh contusion.

"He's a tough guy who's going to try to play through things," head coach Ime Udoka told reporters. "We'll get him some treatment today and see how he feels tomorrow."

The 28-year-old's DPOY nod illustrated how valuable he was on that end of the floor during the regular season. He averaged 1.7 steals and held opponents to 33.0 percent on three-pointers, down 2.8 percentage points from their usual average, per NBA.com.

Smart's playmaking shouldn't go unnoticed, either. His 5.9 assists per game were a career high and first on the team.

While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the Celtics' two biggest stars, Smart might be their heartbeat. When the team was sputtering earlier in the season, he wasn't afraid to call out his two teammates.

Comments like that might have splintered a different locker room, but the blunt honesty from him and others helped turn the year around for Boston instead.

Coming out of the first round, the Celtics looked like the new favorites to win the East. But Smart's thigh contusion, while seemingly minor, represented an obvious setback. He bounced back quickly to help Boston take the Bucks down in seven games.

Now, Smart's availability will be of paramount concern to Udoka and his staff.