Celtics

Guerschon Yabusele making first NBA start for Celtics vs Wizards

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Guerschon Yabusele making first NBA start for Celtics vs Wizards

BOSTON – As Jayson Tatum stood before a throng of media prior to tonight’s game, he was asked about Guerschon Yabusele making his first NBA start tonight against Washington.

“He’s starting?” said Tatum, clearly caught off guard by the news. “I didn’t know that.”

And before another question was asked, Tatum yelled out to his teammate, “Hey Guersch? I’m happy for you.”

MORE - Should spate of injuries change our expectations for Celtics?

Yabusele’s response was a slight head nod, acknowledging is appreciation for Tatum’s sentiment but clearly not wanting to make a big deal out of the situation. 

But the truth is … it is a big deal, a deal that Boston had to make courtesy of an unusually high rash of injuries and illnesses that have significantly increased the degree of difficulty for the Celtics tonight as they host the Washington Wizards. 

However, this is nothing to the Celtics who have been in plug-and-play mode all season with various key players out, only to turn to a seldom-used reserve who makes the most of their opportunity to shine. 

“I’ve always been ready. I was just waiting for my time,” Yabusele said prior to tonight’s game.

He added, “I’m going to be focused from the beginning.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens told Yabusele that he was going to be spending about a month with the team’s Gatorade League Development team, the Maine Red Claws. But that message came with an addendum – be ready because you may be called upon to play with the Celtics at any time. 

Is the Dancing Bear up for the challenge? 

We’ll find out tonight.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

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Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

The Celtics might have a big piece back for Tuesday night's Game 5 against the Bucks. 

Marcus Smart, out since last month after undergoing thumb surgery, has been physically cleared to play. The Celtics have yet to announce whether Smart will definitely play Tuesday, but it's hard to imagine the ultra-competitive Smart wouldn't. 

Smart's potential return might go a long way towards the Celtics reclaiming their series lead after winning Games 1 and 2 before dropping two straight in Milwaukee. His impact on games against the Bucks during the regular season illustrated how much his defense can help. 

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch Game 5 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs, as the Celtics host the Bucks at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's: Game 5 will come down to 'who wants it more'

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]