Marcus Smart, missing time with a torn oblique muscle, spoke to the media today for the first time since he was officially diagnosed.
Marcus Smart says he’s “making great progress” and is now able to walk and do other things that he previously was unable to do pain-free.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 16, 2019
This is great news, though it obviously isn’t enough to signal a return to game action any time soon. For a week after the initial injury, Smart couldn’t walk or do things pain-free, so that’s extremely not ideal. The Celtics have to take his recovery day-by-day and celebrate the small victories as they come. This is one of them.
Boston is well on their way to making sure they’re still playing when Smart’s ready for game action after a solid victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1. Although Smart’s All-Defense production can’t possibly be recreated, the Celtics did a great job of establishing a defensive identity in their first matchup against Indiana.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana’s first offensive option, was held to just 12 points on 4/11 shooting. Jaylen Brown, who started in Smart’s place, played a big role in that endeavor, forcing his defensive will on the Pacers’ offense at every turn.
Smart’s still scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks from the initial diagnosis, but Boston remains hopeful of both that he’ll be able to return quickly and properly and that they’ll still be playing by the time he’s ready to return.
Kyrie Irving, asked something about Marcus Smart, finished with this sentence: “We’ve got a few more wins to get, six weeks is not that long a time. I think I can manage until then.”— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 16, 2019
Smart’s timeline from the start was 4-6 weeks.
The Boston Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals tomorrow at 8PM on ESPN.