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Friday, February 21, 2020

Kyrie Irving says he can ‘manage’ without Marcus Smart for six weeks

Kyrie Irving

The Boston Celtics are going to have to play quite a few playoff games without Marcus Smart if they make a deep run in the Eastern Conference, but Kyrie Irving is confident they can prevail without their scrappiest defender.

Smart suffered a torn oblique before the postseason, and he is expected to miss up to six weeks. While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Irving said six weeks is not that long of a time, and he believes he can “manage” without Smart for a while.

Irving prefaced that by talking about how much he misses Smart, whom the Celtics hope to have back by the Eastern Conference Finals.

Boston should have no problem handling the Indiana Pacers without Smart, and they held them to just 74 points in Game 1 on Sunday. However, Smart is the type of player that can immediately inject energy into a team and change a playoff game with hustle plays. If the Celtics end up facing the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, they will likely feel Smart’s absence a lot more.

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