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Celtics’ Marcus Smart (knee) questionable, Robert Williams (knee) probable vs. Nets

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Celtics Marcus Smart (knee) questionable, Robert Williams (knee) probable vs Nets
USA Today Network

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (left knee) is questionable and center Robert Williams III (left knee) is probable for Thursday night’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets. Of course, Danilo Gallinari (left ACL) is the only other player listed for Boston.

Gallinari will miss the entire 2022-23 season after tearing his left ACL during a FIBA World Cup qualifier. Smart has missed six games. It is unclear at this time whether or not the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his return tonight.

According to numerous NBA betting sites, the Celtics are the top favorite to win the championship. However, sportsbooks are giving the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets great odds as well.

Through 36 starts this season, Smart is averaging 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Also, he’s shooting a career-best 42.4% from the field and 33.9% beyond the arc.

Smart recorded season highs of 22 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder (Nov. 14) and Charlotte Hornets (Nov. 28). In the Celtics’ 140-105 win versus Charlotte, the guard also logged his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with two boards, 15 assists, and two steals in 31 minutes played.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart (knee) is questionable, center Robert Williams (knee) is probable against Nets on Thursday

Fans are not expecting Smart to play tonight. On another subject, Boston has not played well with Robert Williams. Since his season debut against the Orlando Magic on Dec. 16, the Celtics have gone 5-5 with the fifth-year center in the rotation.

Williams is averaging 7.7 points, 7.6 boards, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks per contest through 10 appearances this season. More importantly, he’s shooting career highs of 82.9% from the field and 75% at the foul line.

As for Brooklyn’s injury report, Kevin Durant (right MCL sprain) will miss at least the next three weeks. Nic Claxton (shoulder) was upgraded to probable for this intraconference matchup. If Durant was healthy, this matchup would be more interesting.

Boston has won its last four games. The Celtics are 8-2 in their past 10 contests. Not to mention, they’ve won their previous eight meetings against the Nets. And the C’s are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games versus Brooklyn.

Additionally, the Nets are 14-1 in their last 15 games. They’ve won their past five home games. But Brooklyn is without its number one player. For that logical reason, bettors are expecting Boston to win this one.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Celtics have a 55.1% chance of defeating Brooklyn away. Sportsbooks show Boston as a three-point favorite at Barclays Center.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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