Brad Stevens: Marcus Smart is ‘getting a lot closer’ to returning

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Michael Mulford
·2 min read
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The Boston Celtics came into this season as a contender coming out of the Eastern Conference. Though thus far, the 17-17 Celtics have looked nothing more than mediocre on most nights as they currently sit as the sixth seed in the East. One reason for Boston’s first half struggles has been the absence of injured guard Marcus Smart, who suffered a Grade 1 calf strain on Jan. 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though on Tuesday, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens spoke on Smart’s rehab progress and when we can expect the former Oklahoma State Cowboy back on the floor from his 16 game absence.

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"We haven't gotten into specifics about when he'd be available or not. He's getting a lot closer," Brad Stevens said of Smart's return to the lineup.

"What does that mean? I don't know, like. kind of depends probably on how the break goes, you know, and how much he's able to get in and get in with our people. I think he's planning on staying here and doing that."

In Smart's 16-game absence, the Celtics are 7-9 with glaring holes creating offense outside of Brown and Tatum as Kemba Walker continues to struggle. Taking Smart's minutes are rookies Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith, as well as veteran guard Jeff Teague, who has yet to find his footing in a Celtics uniform. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1363675048389742593?s=20

Stevens added that he could see Smart returning "anytime after" Boston's opening game of the second half against the Brooklyn Nets on March 11. "The good news is in our first few days, you know, I think we'll practice the Wednesday before we play Brooklyn and then we got a couple of days before we play again," Stevens said.

"We'll probably practice all three of those days, which would be a little bit unusual but that should give him even more chance to practice, and so anytime after that."

Following the Celtics game against the Nets on March 11, Boston has two days off before taking on the Houston Rockets, Smart's first potential game back. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=rfsi1LUJN9-1179518-8380&autoplay=on&V=2&format=json [lawrence-related id=47287,47267,47262,47256] [listicle id=47259]

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