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Celtics' Marcus Smart Suspended for Using 'Threatening Language' Toward Official

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, April 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The NBA suspended Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart for one game without pay Wednesday for "directing threatening language toward a game official." 

NBA Communications @NBAPR

The following was released by the NBA. https://t.co/B05L3mrsKq

As a result of the punishment, Smart will be out of the lineup when the Celtics play the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens thought the timing of the announcement was a bit unfortunate with roughly two hours until tipoff to reconfigure his lineup.

"I'd agree with that," Stevens said. "I knew they were looking into it but I thought when we got [to] the late afternoon, there wouldn't be anything."

Boston was already set to be without Kemba Walker because of an oblique strain.

Smart's suspension-worthy actions came in Tuesday's 119-115 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. His frustrations at the official may have manifested from his own poor performance. The seventh-year veteran shot 4-of-17 from the floor and 1-of-10 from three-point range en route to a 14-point night.

While not a massive setback in the bigger picture, the NBA's decision represents yet another hurdle for the Celtics a season that hasn't gone according to plan. As the team prepares to take the court against Charlotte, it sits sixth in the Eastern Conference at 32-30 and owns the same record as the seventh-place Miami Heat.

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Falling into the play-in tournament is a very real possibility for Stevens' squad.

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