BOSTON (CBS) -- It's pretty clear the Boston Celtics are a much different defensive team without Marcus Smart, and unfortunately for them, it doesn't sound like they'll have him when the defending NBA champs come to town in a few weeks.
Smart has been sidelined since bumping knees with Thomas Robinson of the Brooklyn Nets back on November 20, with what the Celtics are calling a very "unique" injury (doctors call it a a subluxation of the proximal tibfib joint). The point guard said last week there's no timetable for his return, something C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reiterated Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich.
"He's in working out doing his therapy. I don't know a timetable. He is the only one to know when his leg is completely healed, but the good news is there's no surgery needed," said Ainge. "It's like a bad sprain and he just needs time go get healthy.
"I'm not sure there is more of a competitor than Marcus. He wants to play and he loves to play, and that's why his teammates love him so much. He plays at such a different level, and maybe that's why he's been hurt a few times already," added Ainge.
Unfortunately that time to mend will likely stretch until after Boston's December 11 matchup with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors improved to 20-0 on the season with a 116-99 win over the Charlotte Hornets, with Curry scoring 40 points in just 31 minutes of play.
The defending NBA MVP is off to a historic start, scoring 40 or more points in six different games and averaging 32.2 points per contest.
Ainge said Smart and Avery Bradley would have likely shared the tough task of guarding Curry (along with fellow scorer Klay Thompson), but now Bradley will probably get the majority of the time on Curry. Best of luck, Avery.
Ainge has long said that Curry has the best shot he's ever seen, which is pretty impressive coming from a guy who played alongside Larry Bird.
"Not just because of his shooting but the degree of difficulty of his shot," Ainge explained. "A lot of people in Boston were not happy when I said that, but I truly believe he is the best shooter I've ever seen."
Ainge also talks about Boston's trip to Mexico City and Kobe Bryant's farewell tour:
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