There is not a more exciting, potential-rich character on the 7-6 Boston Celtics than second-year guard Marcus Smart.
Unfortunately for Boston, the team will be without the heart and hustle of the Oklahoma State product for at least two weeks, as Smart is expected to miss extensive time with a left leg injury that he suffered in the Celtics' 120-95 thrashing of the lowly Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
The injury, classified as a dislocation of the left leg, was sustained in the latter stages of Friday's victory as Smart's knee collided with the knee of Nets power forward Thomas Robinson.
Boston announced the extent of the injury prior to their 111-101 defeat at the hands of Brooklyn in the finale of a home-and-home series between the two squads, displaying the void left by Smart on both sides of the ball in the loss.
After being selected with the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Celtics, Smart started 38 games for Boston in 2014-15, averaging 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game in his rookie season, shooting 37% from the field.
The Dallas native has started eight of the nine games that he has appeared in so far in 2015-16, upping his per-game averages to 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 29.1 minutes of action.
Smart has struggled with his shot in the early stages of this season, however, converting on just 33% of his attempts from the field and a paltry 24% from three-point range to date.
He has notched double-digit figures in scoring on three occasions in 2015-16, including a dynamic 26-point, eight-rebound, three-assist performance in a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 15. One night later, Smart showcased his effectiveness on the defensive end, garnering five steals and nine rebounds in a defeat of the Houston Rockets.
In Smart's absence, expect shooting guard Avery Bradley and point guard Isaiah Thomas to assume the empty minutes. Small forward Jonas Jerebko might also receive an elevation in playing time.
"I think Jonas [Jerebko] will play some of those minutes; I think one of our young guys will play some of those minutes, to be determined on the night; and we'll go from there," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told ESPN.com. "That's why we have guys that are capable of stepping in and helping."