The Boston Celtics are expected to get a much-needed reinforcement out of the All-Star break.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart went through a private team workout Tuesday and has been “officially” cleared both to practice Wednesday night and play Friday night against the Pistons in Detroit, NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely reported Wednesday, citing league sources.
Smart has been sidelined since Jan. 24 with a lacerated right hand he suffered while swiping at a picture frame in a Beverly Hills hotel.
The C’s won five of their next six games after Smart’s injury but have been in a funk ever since, dropping four of their last five contests heading into the All-Star break. They’ve sorely missed Smart’s presence on the defensive end of late, surrendering 250 total points in back-to-back losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers.
While Boston will welcome Smart back with open arms, head coach Brad Stevens hopes the 23-year-old learned his lesson after his latest incident.
“It’s not an ideal situation that he put himself through or how it impacted us,” Stevens said Wednesday during a radio interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand.” “We need him to be the best version of himself moving forward and we expect that he will be.”
Smart has been hard on himself, as well, but he can quickly flip the narrative by helping the Celtics close the two-game gap between them and the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors.
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