Marcus Smart gets up shots, details Mike Tyson-like pain

Marcus Smart gets up shots, details Mike Tyson-like pain

INDIANAPOLIS — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, sidelined by a torn oblique, accompanied the team to Indiana and got up shots following the team’s morning shootaround.

Smart engaged in some light shooting under the watch of assistant coach Jay Larranaga. He didn’t spend much time on the court, putting up flat-flooted shots from around the blocks and the free-throw line.

“It feels good [to shoot]. It’ll be two weeks this Sunday. We’re coming up on the two-week mark, and once again, I said earlier in the week, I’m still very ecstatic with the progress that I made,” said Smart, who was expected to miss 4-6 weeks before being able to return to basketball activities. 

"I’m obviously nowhere near coming back but to be able to get back on the court, get some shots up, and be able to do a little more things actively is great progress for me.”

Smart cautioned against getting overly excited about the sight of him back on a court.

"It definitely still hurts. It does hurt,” said Smart. "It doesn’t hurt as much as the initial injury or as much as it did a couple days ago. But it’s definitely still some pain here, with some scar tissue and obviously the tear and everything. So we’re not trying to rush anything. We’re trying to keep a baseline with what I’m doing, and we’re pleased with the progress.”

Smart said he’s been able to walk fluidly more in recent days but doesn't plan to start jogging for the next couple weeks. He deemed himself “ahead of schedule” in terms of doing everyday tasks like walking and breathing normally, but admitted there’s still a lot of recovery ahead before even thinking about playoff basketball.

Asked to describe the pain from the initial injury, Smart offered a telling comparison.

"I’m sure nobody would know but you could probably imagine getting hit by Mike Tyson with a body blow,” said Smart. "That’s how painful it was. It took me down, instantly. When I got back up it knocked the wind out of me and I thought I was OK. I’ve been hit before. And then the second time it felt like someone shot me. There’s nothing I could do on that one. 

"I literally just collapsed and just told them to get me back to the back. There was so much pain going through my body that I didn’t know what was going on. It makes sense now with the MRIs and everything coming out to see that the oblique was torn. Now it makes sense why I was in so much pain. But it definitely felt like I was in the ring with Mike Tyson for about 10 seconds.”

Smart joined the team on the bench for Game 2 in Boston and was able to dispense advice to teammates, who said he offered defensive tips during most timeouts. Smart said that, not being able to help on the court, he felt he needed to be in Indiana to assist from the sideline.

"That was one thing Danny [Ainge] emphasized with me, being able to coach from the bench and really help these guys out, because, for some of these guys, it’s their first time taking on bigger roles,” said Smart. "They’re used to playing with or without people this year and unfortunately injuries happen. Stuff happens and they’ve been put in the fire. So being able to help those guys in certain things on this team is big for me, because they trust me to do that.”

Coach Smart has been diving into the film hoping to give his team hints about what might be coming.

"Just plays I know they’re going to run, plays I picked up on or were scouted,” said Smart. "The plays they like to run that we watch on video. And just trying to give those guys an extension of [coach] Brad [Stevens] on the floor. Only so much Brad can do — he has all these players to manage, and I’m watching those guys on the court. I can see a lot more things than Brad probably could because he’s watching something else. Just try to keep them in the right place and guide them off the court.”

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Haberstroh: Anthony Davis to Lakers is a 'crushing blow' to Celtics

Haberstroh: Anthony Davis to Lakers is a 'crushing blow' to Celtics

Did the Celtics make a mistake by not overwhelming the Pelicans with an offer for Anthony Davis?

The C's reportedly refused to include forward Jayson Tatum in a deal, so New Orleans opted to roll with the Lakers' lucrative trade package instead. Davis probably would have only been a one-year rental with Boston, but NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh still believes their failure to acquire Davis is a "crushing blow."

Here's why:

As for the outside teams looking in, this is a crushing blow to the Boston Celtics, who might lose Irving now that Davis is heading West. The Celtics have long believed that trading for Davis would be the best chance in keeping Irving long-term, sources say. But now they’re looking at a revamped 2018 playoff redux with Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way with Gordon Hayward back in the driver’s seat.

Assuming Irving doesn't re-sign -- a fair assumption given the Nets rumors flying around -- the Celtics will have to find a way to build around Tatum and Jaylen Brown while hoping Gordon Hayward returns to being Gordon Hayward.

Irving's free agency isn't the only murky situation right now for the C's. Al Horford's contract situation remains up in the air as well, as the veteran big man reportedly remains undecided on his player option for next season.

Time will tell whether the Celtics' decision to not pull the trigger on a Davis trade will be a regrettable one. For now, it'll be interesting to see what Danny Ainge has up his sleeve for a backup plan.

Clint Capela, anyone?

>> Read Haberstroh's full column on the Davis deal here

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Report: Celtics intrigued by Clint Capela, but haven't had any trade talks with Rockets

Report: Celtics intrigued by Clint Capela, but haven't had any trade talks with Rockets

Despite earlier reports indicating that the Celtics engaged the Rockets on trade talks involving Clint Capela, Adam Himmelsbach reported Saturday that while the Celtics are intrigued by the center, they have not talked to Houston about a trade. 

Steve Kyler suggested the Celtics viewed Capela as a backup plan if the Anthony Davis trade fell through, and even though Davis is officially heading to the Lakers, it appears the Celtics aren't as interested as we originally thought. 

There have been reports that the Celtics have had trade talks with the Rockets about their talented young center, Clint Capela, who has four years left on his five-year, $90 million deal. A league source said Saturday that the Celtics are intrigued by Capela, but that the sides have not had any trade talks and that a deal for Capela is unlikely because Boston would not have interest in surrendering the players needed to complete the trade.

Capela is due $16.4 million next season, so for the Celtics to match salary in a deal, they'd have to include a combination of Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, or have Al Horford opt-in and trade his $30.1 million salary for Capela and a player like Eric Gordon.

These are not the only possibilities for a trade, but it's difficult to construct a deal where Boston isn't giving up the same young pieces it seemingly withheld in Davis negotiations. 

Al Horford is reportedly undecided on whether to pick up his player option to return to the Celtics or enter free agency, so Capela discussions could pick up in the coming weeks or die completely once Boston gets a better idea of where their veteran center stands. 

Now that the Davis trade is out of the way, more dominos are free to fall as the NBA undergoes its most uncertain offseason in recent memory.  

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