Moments after ESPN’s Malika Andrews announced that Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler would not return to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals with right knee inflammation, Marcus Smart fell to the ground, screaming in agony after leaping for a rebound early in the third quarter.
A replay showed that Smart rolled his right ankle as he landed, and that Kyle Lowry fell on top of it as he hit the deck as well; he was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain.
Marcus Smart went down hard and had to be helped off the court after this play pic.twitter.com/jAQ2RZpDWk— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 22, 2022
Smart was immediately helped to the locker room, leaning on the shoulders of two Celtics’ trainers. The ESPN broadcast showed footage of him walking to the locker room, and he was putting a bit of pressure on the presumably injured foot. Remember, it was that right foot on which Smart suffered a sprain in Game 7 against the Bucks.
MARCUS SMART RETURNS pic.twitter.com/GJ4Rsnpn76— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 22, 2022
HOWEVER: mere minutes after heading to the locker room, Smart was shown testing the ankle in the back tunnel, and then jogging back out onto the floor. He beelined for the scorer’s table without even stopping to so much as greet his teammates, subbed in, and promptly nailed a three.
And people wonder why we love and trust him.
MARCUS NEVER STOPS FIGHTING pic.twitter.com/PVNZOg65WL— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 22, 2022
For now, Smart remains in action. But we’ll update this post should anything regarding his injury change during the remainder of Game 3.