Stevens: Smart will practice Thursday, play Game 3


Stevens: Smart will practice Thursday, play Game 3

BOSTON – The Celtics finally got some good news (relatively speaking) on the injury front.

The bruised rib injury suffered by Marcus Smart in Boston’s 89-72 Game 2 loss on Tuesday will not prevent the 6-foot-4 guard from playing in Game 3.

The news was even better on Smart.

“From what I’ve been told, he will be able to practice tomorrow,” Stevens said via teleconference on Wednesday.

Smart’s availability is a huge plus for a Celtics team that is trying to ride out what has been this wave of injuries that has swept over his team.

Avery Bradley (right hamstring) did not play in Game 2 and on Wednesday Stevens reiterated that Bradley would not play this weekend and most likely is out for the remainder of this series.

Kelly Olynyk (right shoulder) also missed Game 2, and Stevens said he remains questionable to play in Game 3. Olynyk missed 12 straight games earlier this season with a right shoulder injury.

Following Boston’s Game 2 loss, Smart said he would get additional testing but was pretty confident that the injury would not keep him from playing in Game 3.

He was right.

But like the rest of his teammates, Smart has to do a better job at both ends of the floor if the Celtics are to get back into this series which now stands at 2-0 in favor of the Hawks.

In the two games so far, Smart has averaged nine points on 6-for-21 shooting (28.6 percent) from the floor and 33.3 percent (4-for-12) on 3s, to go with 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

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NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”