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Report: Marcus Smart’s status for tonight’s game unlikely

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More bad news for the Celtics.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Marcus Smart is unclear whether or not he will play in the Boston Celtics’ against the Philadehlphia 76ers tonight, per Mass Live’s Jay King. Smart tweaked his ankle in a collision with teammate Jaylen Brown.

Smart’s absence would be particularly noticeable in light of Gordon Hayward’s injury. Boston relied on him as a starter in their most recent clash with the Milwaukee Bucks, and could use his defensive versatility in their matchup with Philadelphia.

The Sixers have a number of quirky (in a good way) players. Chief among them, rookie Ben Simmons, a massive primary ball handler with extremely limited range. Smart has the right combination of strength, lateral quickness, and tenacity to defend Simmons well.

The Celtics have several other defenders they can try out in his stead, but not having Smart as an option would limit their options in a meaningful way.