Whether you’re sidelined for an illness or injury, conditioning always takes a hit.
Terry Rozier (knee) and Marcus Smart (strep throat) know this all too well as they try to work their way back into game shape in Boston’s remaining preseason games.
Smart is looking forward to getting back on to the floor after missing the team’s last two preseason games.
And Celtics coach Brad Stevens has indicated that he plans to play Smart a decent amount of time in these final preseason games to help improve his conditioning.
Smart’s looking forward to it.
“This is going to be huge for me,” Smart told reporters. “My body feels weak from being in bed all day and my conditioning is down a little bit. With the season around the corner, it’s important I get my conditioning back up and these next two games will help.”
Boston opens the season with its first three games at home, hoping to make the most of that and get off to a fast start.
Having a healthy Smart will go far in Boston achieving that goal. In two games Smart has averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 assists per game.
As for Rozier, getting his conditioning close to where it was prior to his injury will be key for him to at least position himself to play with some regularity early on this season.
Rozier’s foot speed in getting from one end of the floor to another, has been impressive. He has also displayed a pretty good shooting touch.
In two games, he has averaged 11.5 points in 16.5 minutes while shooting 60 percent on 3s.
Rozier's effective Field goal percentage (eFG%) is 75.0 which is tops among Celtics players who have appeared in two or more games.
But those skills will only get a chance to make their way on to the floor if he continues to make strides in improving his conditioning.
“Conditioning is going to be a big key for me,” Rozier said. “I know it’s going to be tough getting back to it up and down. It’s important to me. It takes time, but I’ll be alright.”