Marcus Smart has been cleared to play and will rejoin the Celtics for Tuesday night’s pivotal Game 5 against the Bucks.
Smart has been sidelined since tearing a thumb ligament in March 11. He told reporters before Tuesday’s game that he needed to be sure he could withstand contact in 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 situations with the team’s coaches. Once he emerged from those drills pain-free, he pronounced himself good to go.
“Just playing defense, guarding people off screens, coming off screens, fighting through with the ball,” Smart said. “I’m sure they’re going to try to atttack my hand and see how I hold up, and it held up pretty good. So we’re excited about it. We’re here with the progress that we’ve made, and we’re ready to go.”
Smart will wear a splint and and will likely see his minutes monitored, according to head coach Brad Stevens.
“I don’t know if he has a minutes restriction,” Stevens said. “But he won’t play 35 minutes tonight, regardless, because he hasn’t played in six weeks.”
The Celtics could use Smart’s tenacity and experience to settle the second unit, which has struggled at times in the series — mainly because reserves like Terry Rozier are now in the starting lineup.
“Marcus is the only guy I can say this about, he’s been here for four years,” Stevens said. “So I think I know him. I think we’ll ride with what he’s always done for us. Without question, he hasn’t played in six weeks. There will be some rusty moments. But that’s alright. It’s part of it.”
Full article @ Marcus Smart active and will play in Game 5 against Bucks after passing pregame tests
Source: GreenStreet Blog