The NBA announced that Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been suspended for one game for “directing threatening language towards a game official” during and after Boston’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/B05L3mrsKq— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 28, 2021
Smart will serve his suspension against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
Smart received a technical foul in-game vs the Thunder and appeared to have several long and heated discussions with the officials throughout the game. This apparently continued after the game ended, according to the release from the NBA.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he was made aware that Smart was being suspended at about 5:30 PM on Wednesday. This is approximately the same time the NBA put out their public press release.
Stevens was asked if it was unusual to find out about a suspension so close to game time and said “I don’t know. I don’t want to get into it.” Stevens also said he would address the suspension with Smart at a later time.
The Celtics had previously ruled out Kemba Walker for this game, after he suffered a left side strain against the Hornets on Sunday. While Walker came back to finish that game, he will miss both ends of the back-to-back against Oklahoma City and Charlotte in Boston.
Without both of his starting ballhandlers, Stevens said it will be “point guard by committee” for the Celtics tonight. Rookie Payton Pritchard will likely factor in heavily and may draw the start, while Tremont Waters is also likely to be a part of the rotation for Boston.
On the plus side, the Celtics will get both Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game. Tatum, along with Jaylen Brown and Evan Fournier (and a sprinkle of Romeo Langford) can take on increased playmaking duties as well.