Stevens on Smart: 'It's just a matter of being cleared for live play'

A. Sherrod Blakely
NBC Sports Boston

MILWAUKEE – Dribble-drive, pull-up jumpers.

Corner 3's.

Deep 3's.

Marcus Smart was launching shots all over the court prior to the Celtics' Game 3 loss to Milwaukee on Friday.

And the way he has progressed, it's looking more and more likely that Smart will return if Boston's first-round series goes the distance or they advance to the next round.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is doing everything but "live" now, meaning he's scrimmaging players in groupings of two-by-two, three-on-three or more traditional five-on-five games.

His return from right thumb surgery will be contingent upon the thumb healing enough to where he can take a hit on it, even if he's wearing a splint to help stabilize it.

"He feels pretty good," Stevens said. "He's shooting the ball, doing everything in a workout that you can do. It's just a matter of being cleared for live play."

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds while averaging 29.9 minutes per game. Smart suffered a torn ligament injury on March 11 and had it surgically repaired on March 16.

At the time of the surgery, it was determined that Smart would be out six to eight weeks. Thus far, all indications are that Smart will return at the earliest date possible – April 27.



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