BROOKLYN — Celtics guard Marcus Smart is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks with a lower left leg injury, coach Brad Stevens said Sunday. Smart will not need surgery.
Smart suffered the injury when he collided with Nets forward Thomas Robinson in the fourth quarter of Boston's 120-95 win over Brooklyn on Friday night. Smart left the game and underwent an MRI and did not travel on this current road trip.
"They've gone and taken a bunch of images of it; they've wanted to make sure," Stevens said.
"They've actually asked for second opinions on it, because it's a really unique injury. But it's not a long-term thing, and it's not a huge issue. They just want to make sure that everything is fully healed before he comes back."
Stevens said Smart's injury is officially a subluxation of the proximal tibiofibular joint in the knee, or a dislocation.
"It could be a couple weeks, or it could be longer than that," Stevens said, "so hopefully it gets a lot better sooner, because obviously he's a big loss for us."
Smart, who is averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season, had missed three games already with a sprained left toe.
Avery Bradley returned to the starting lineup Sunday against the Nets in Smart's place. Bradley missed two games with a calf strain this month and had come off the bench in the two games since his return. Bradley responded with 27 points in a 111-101 loss.
Stevens said that Jonas Jerebko would fill some of the minutes normally taken by Smart, and that one of the team's younger players would probably see more playing time as well, depending on the night.
"Hey, that's why we have a team," Stevens said. "That's why we have guys that are capable of stepping in and helping. Marcus does a lot of good things for our team. We've got a lot of guys that can bring a lot of positive things that may be different strengths than he brings to the table for our group, though. We've already played games without him, games without Avery. And it's unfortunate. But it is what it is. And we'll have somebody step up."
Rookie guard Terry Rozier played five minutes on Sunday and had 3 points and one turnover.
Turner takes a hit
Although Smart is sidelined, the MRI of the knee of guard Evan Turner simply revealed some swelling. He was officially diagnosed with a strain but was cleared to play on Sunday night.
Turner said he took a hit to the knee during the preseason and had been dealing with some swelling since then.
"The worst it felt was probably like in OKC and Houston," Turner said. "But other than that I've just been icing it. One of our assistant trainers was just asking, like, 'Are you having problems with it?' I mean, I guess. But it's nothing that should be hurting throughout the season."
Turner said that he just needs to ice the knee consistently, and that he knows it will swell up during flights.
"I didn't ask to get an MRI," Turner said. "It was just word of mouth, and they were like, 'Yeah, why not.' So it's nothing crazy."
Turner had 13 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench Sunday.,
Twin bill for Pagliuca
Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca got to pull a rare doubleheader in New York on Sunday. First he and his wife, Judy, went to Madison Square Garden and watched Duke defeat Georgetown in the 2k Classic, 86-84. Pagliuca's son, Nick, is a junior walk-on with the Blue Devils. After the Duke game, the Pagliucas came to the Barclays Center to watch the Celtics game . . . The Celtics entered Sunday forcing 19.6 turnovers per game, tops in the NBA. Nets coach Lionel Hollins has seen it firsthand, and he offered an explanation for the defensive success. "They've got a lot of versatile, quick players," Hollins said. "They recover. They get into passing lanes. They poke check. They run back and help in the post, recover out to their men. I think that's one of the two things that stands out about their team is their versatility and their quickness."