Marcus Smart cleared to play but status remains uncertain for Game 5
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has announced that Marcus Smart has been officially cleared for practice. And if all goes well at shootaround, Smart could conceivably make his 2018 postseason debut in Tuesday’s Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Marcus Smart has been cleared but Celtics will wait to see how he responds to contact this morning before deciding his status for Game 5. pic.twitter.com/6RRo79b433
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 24, 2018
Stevens mentioned that Smart will have to make it through Tuesday’s shootaround pain-free before getting the nod to play in Game 5.
“One thing is he hasn’t played in a month and a half,’’ Stevens said, via The Boston Globe. “So this is an opportunity to come in and do what he does best, and that’s impact the game with his energy, his physicality, his savvy and his skill. I think one of the things obviously when you’ve got a player of his caliber, he’s really excited to play. But at the same time we’ll see how he feels. Again, if he’s got any lingering effects at all after going a two-on-two or a three-on-three here in an hour or so, then we won’t play him.’’
The Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Celtics and Bucks is all knotted up at two games apiece. Smart last played on March 11 and was later ruled out for the rest of the regular season due to a torn ligament in his right thumb, an injury that required surgery. Suffice to say, getting Smart back for Game 5 would be a tremendous boon for the shorthanded Celtics heading into such a critical game at TD Garden.
Even better? By doing so, Smart would make good on something his ailing mother wishes to see.