Boston Celtics rumors have presented some interesting news ahead of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. A Marcus Smart injury update was just provided by NBA analyst Shams Charania. According to his report, Smart has taken a huge step forward in his rehab process. This could potentially give the Celtics a big boost, provided the team can survive in the postseason with a depleted roster.
Smart has been dealing with a torn UCL and just got reevaluated on April 9. The great news for Celtics fans is that Smart has now been cleared to start light-contact shooting. As for the Celtics rumors about Smart making it back in time to take part in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, there is news about that as well. Charania states that Smart is expected to be cleared for game-action at the six-week mark of his surgery recovery.
If everything continues to go well in his rehab, this injury update means that Marcus Smart could return to live-game action on April 27. Before his injury, Smart was an important part of the rotation for Celtics coach Brad Stevens. In 54 games, Smart averaged 29.9 minutes, 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. While he was only shooting 36.7 percent from the field, Smart provided the Celtics with a lot of energy and someone who could shut down opposing guards on the defensive end.
"We're getting into that playoff mindset," says Jaylen Brown. "It's a different level of basketball that needs to be played, it's a different intensity. So, it's time to start applying that mindset to these games." pic.twitter.com/PusiyUWQvHIf the first-round series goes long enough or the Celtics make it to a second-round matchup, then there appears to be a high probability that Smart will be on the active roster. Provided everything stays on schedule with his injury rehab, that could provide the Celtics with a huge boost in the playoffs. Not only would it give the team a well-rested player ready to provide great defense, it will give Brad Stevens even more flexibility with his roster.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 10, 2018
In the absence of Kyrie Irving, who has been shut down by the team, this Marcus Smart injury update is great news. The Celtics enter the 2018 NBA Playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Seeding hasn't been set at the bottom of the NBA standings, though, so their first-round opponent could be the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, or Washington Wizards. That will get decided over the next few days as those three teams battle it out for the No. 6 seed.