BOSTON – It was a sight few expected to see on the eve of Boston’s Game 1 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks – Marcus Smart, on the floor, getting shots.
While he’s definitely out to start this playoff series, Sunday’s shooting display was a clear indication that Smart’s return is drawing near – potentially at some point in this series.
The current timetable has him returning in time for a Game 7 matchup against the Bucks.
But Smart is expected to meet with doctors within the next couple of weeks to get an updated timetable for a possible return.
“We’re optimistic but we’re not going to rush anything,” Smart said. “I’ve got a check-up in the next two weeks. We’ll see what she says. If she clears us to start a little earlier, then we might. But right now Game 7 (of Bucks series) or second round.”
I asked Smart what is the biggest limitation he has now with the right thumb injury which has been surgically repaired.
“Right now, it’s the muscle memory, being able to see how it affects throwing the ball, through contact. We’re just trying to ease our way in,” Smart said. “But I’ll pick things up here soon.”
Smart said he now has a smaller splint which helps keep the thumb from bending in a way that might result in it being re-injured.
“I’ll be playing with that when I come back, probably for a couple of months,” said Smart who added that Sunday was the first time he was on the floor shooting since suffering the thumb injury.
Smart has been one of Boston’s more versatile players this season, showing the ability to defend multiple positions in addition to coming up with big plays in the clutch.
The 6-foot-4 guard appeared in 54 games this season, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and a career-high 4.8 assists per game while shooting 36.7 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from 3-point range.