The Boston Celtics could use Marcus Smart right now. The NBA Finals-hopeful team has racked up two straight losses against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, and they are having a hard time stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo and his buddies at the moment.
Smart, who has been out since he final game of the regular season with a left oblique tear, is a tenacious defender. He would also add more dynamism on the offensive side of the ball, and could help the Celtics find a way to run on all cylinders instead of just farting around as they often do.
The Oklahoma State product had been ruled out for the entirety of the first two rounds of the playoffs, and now Smart is starting to resume basketball activities. According to Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Smart has the potential to practice with the team on Sunday as he tries to get back into a position to play in the postseason.
These playoffs have been the story of injured players coming back and contributing for their team despite injury. Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George and his shoulders, Portland Trail Blazers big man Enes Kanter and his left shoulder, Stephen Curry and whatever ails him at the moment, James Harden and his bloody eyes… the list goes on.
Getting Smart back on a floor for Boston wouldn’t fix everything for the Celtics. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are still the favorites, and they would be hard to beat even if Boston had Smart back at full strength. But the return of a player like Smart could be both a production and emotional boost, and it’s good to see that he is getting back into practice at the very least.