Marcus Smart Won't Play in USA's Final FIBA Games Because of Minor Injuries

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2019

DONGGUAN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 11: Marcus Smart #7 of USA looks on against France during the 2019 FIBA World Cup Quarter-Finals at the Dongguan Basketball Center on September 11, 2019 in Dongguan, China.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The United States is shutting down Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart for the remainder of the 2019 FIBA World Cup following Wednesday's 89-79 quarterfinal defeat to France, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. 

Team USA has two more games to determine the fifth through eighth-place teams.

Smart missed a portion of Team USA's training camp due to calf tightness and was absent for the United States' first-round win over Japan with a left quad strain. Charania also reported he underwent an X-ray for a left knuckle injury.

Smart averaged 6.4 points and 1.2 assists in five appearances.

Considering the U.S. is already out of the gold medal hunt, removing him from the lineup is the most sensible decision so he can heal up for Boston's season-opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 23.

The Celtics already had an injury scare when Jayson Tatum suffered a sprained left ankle in the first round against Turkey. He hasn't suited up for the team's last four games, returning to practice Monday.

By playing through minor injuries, Smart demonstrated his commitment to Team USA and desire to win his first senior international medal.

Putting his health at further risk simply isn't worth it when the best the U.S. can hope for is fifth place.

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