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Marcus Smart unlikely to return Saturday vs. Spurs with knee injury

The Celtics PG had to be helped to the locker room.

Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks
Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on January 5, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Update: Smart is officially doubtful to return Saturday with a knee injury.

Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart was helped to the locker room Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs after appearing to suffer a leg injury. Smart has been a steady presence for the Celtics at the point guard position and is a key for Boston’s defensive structure. He had five points, four assists and two rebounds in 22 minutes of action prior to the injury.

Smart is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and has settled into his role as a distributor this season. He’s never been an efficient shooter but Smart’s playmaking chops have helped Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown reach another level of play.

If Smart is out for an extended period of time, the Celtics will lean on Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White in the backcourt. Payton Pritchard will take on a bigger role off the bench as well, although Brogdon and White will get the first shots at securing the starting job if Smart is sidelined indefinitely.