The Boston Celtics held their first post-All-Star break practice today and head coach Ime Udoka gave an update on the injury status of both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams. He said that they both participated and are expected to play in Thursday night’s game in Brooklyn.
Smart sprained his ankle during Boston’s 48-point win vs. the Philadelphia 76ers and Robert Williams missed two games in a row ahead of the break due to right calf soreness.
When asked about the mood at practice, Udoka said that it was more of a “mini-training camp.” He mentioned that they used the time to refresh their minds on how they were playing before the break, focusing on what they were doing well. “A chance to get up and down and bang bodies a little bit,” Udoka said.
Maybe a little too much banging:
"Grant tried to dunk on Aaron... Aaron was not going for it" pic.twitter.com/Nz4mw5tHw3— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 23, 2022
Udoka stated that everyone looked “fresh and lively.” He also mentioned that “the break was good for guys physically and mentally.”
Jayson Tatum was given the day off due to his participation in All-Star Weekend, but will suit up against the Nets.
Udoka also spoke about what he wants to see carry over from before the All-Star break. He mentioned that Boston’s “starts have been better” and that they have been “night and day from earlier this year.” He also touched on their play on the offensive end, saying that the key will be “continuing to play with pace.”
Lastly, Udoka got the chance to speak about Boston’s recent 10-day additions - Malik Fitts and Kelan Martin:
“We’re looking for a specific skill set and body type and some of the things that match well with our team, and we think those two fit into that role.”
He also mentioned that the team will continue to monitor the buyout market as more players become available. The deadline for players to be bought out is March 1.