Following a significant amount of preseason hype, the Boston Celtics are inching closer to having their rotation at full strength. Marcus Smart’s opinion shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, not being a doctor or a trainer and all, but the third-year guard said on Monday that he is going to be playing on Wednesday.
The Celtics have both Monday and Tuesday off before a nationally televised tilt against the Chicago Bulls in Boston on Wednesday. As a result, the former Oklahoma State talent appears to have that Wednesday date circled for his season debut.
Smart rolled his ankle less than two weeks ago to keep him out of the Celtics’ first three contests, of which they have won two, but got in a full practice on Monday, so his proclamation looks like a safe bet. In Smart’s stead, the Celtics have given more playing time to as-of-now unproven backups Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown, the latter of course the team’s No. 3 overall pick in this past June’s draft.
Brown and Rozier have averaged eight and six points per game, respectively, this season, with Rozier – a Boston first-round pick in 2015 – dishing out three assists per night thus far as well. Smart, though, looks to remain a fixture in the Boston rotation along with Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley in the backcourt.
He’s averaged 7.8 and 9.1 points per game, respectively, in two NBA seasons with head coach Brad Stevens keeping his minutes per game almost exactly around the 27-minute threshold in each campaign. The mercurial guard will diversify one of the league’s deeper teams and one that after Wednesday will likely only be missing center Kelly Olynyk due to injury.