98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Wednesday's meeting between the Celtics and Heat will go on without the heartbeat of the Celtics, as Marcus Smart has been ruled out due to an illness, according to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
"He’s sick," Stevens said following the team's morning shootaround. "He was feeling worse last night, feeling worse this morning, so he won’t play tonight. He didn’t do anything. Didn’t come in this morning.”
The truth, however, is that Smart is dealing with a whole bunch of the other injuries. On top of the sickness, Smart is dealing with an oblique injury, he recently sprained his ankle, two fingers, and he also suffered a hip bruise.
It should be enough to give Smart an NBA-favorite "load management" day (or week for that matter), even if Smart doesn't want that. And it's something Stevens has talked about with various members of his squad.
"We’ve talked to them about [load management]," Stevens admitted. "And if our training staff thinks there’s something that is really nagging a guy then they will certainly suggest it.”
Smart has averaging 11.9 points and 4.7 assists, and shooting 37.7 percent, through 19 games this season.
The Celtics as a team, meanwhile, are coming off a 113-104 win over the Knicks this past Sunday.
You can listen to Zolak & Bertrand's interview with Stevens below.