Last night's Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers game revolved around Kobe Bryant. Nobody is focused on any other storyline or interested in talking about a different narrative.
But Boston's Marcus Smart curiously missed the game's opening 20 minutes, and Brad Stevens brought James Young off the bench before him.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart incurred a flat tire on his way to TD Garden and had been informed he would be brought in later than usual. Smart didn't make his first appearance until 3:23 remaining in the first half and played only 11 minutes, though he's currently on a minutes restriction while working his way back from a knee injury and Stevens had said he didn't expect him to play much more than 13 minutes overall.
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Why? Apparently, Smart was being punished for missing Boston's pregame shootaround. ESPN Boston has more:
Smart finished with four points, two rebounds and an assist. Aside from a massive tip dunk at the end of the third quarter, his impact was insignificant.
The Celtics obviously need more from their most valuable asset.