OK so yesterday we all had a little fun with the first video evidence of Marcus Smart looking a tiny step closer to a return. As is tradition whenever an injured Celtic workout video comes out, that’s just what you have to do. I think deep down we all knew he was still multiple weeks away from even playing pick up, and Brad certainly did everything he could to downplay what the internet saw, as he should.
But today is a new day and I’m sorry, but things are getting a little more serious. Is he back yet? No, don’t be silly, but watch those videos and read that quote again. Does all that look like a guy who isn’t even close to a return? Sure doesn’t. As of now I’m in a big time battle between my head and my heart because my head says don’t be fucking stupid and proceed as if he’s going to miss the whole second round. My heart say don’t be fucking stupid Marcus Smart is a psycho who will do absolutely anything to force his body to heal faster than the doctors predicted. It also doesn’t hurt that the Celtics get an extra day with their Game 1 being on Sunday.
As we all wait for the eventual return, I’ve seen some hot takes out there that the return of Smart is actually a bad thing. That adding him to the mix after they looked so good against IND will do more harm than good and that the current rotation is perfect. To that I say are you even paying attention? You want to limit the rotation to 8 players fine, swap out Terry/Mook minutes for Smart. To be serious and think that this team is better suited for a deep playoff run by NOT having Marcus Smart available just doesn’t make sense. Now, Brad will have some tough decisions to make in terms of the starting lineup and if he doesn’t want to take Jaylen out that’s fine with me. The point is we’re going to be finishing games with the Erotic City lineup anyways as long as everyone defends well, so getting 25ish minutes from Smart will not hurt this team. You need what he provides in terms of playmaking, defensive versatility, effort, heart, all that shit. It’s no coincidence that during the year of all the lineups to play at least 50 minutes together, Marcus Smart was part of 5 of the 7 highest net rating combinations.
All I know is we went from having some light hearted jokes about Smart running on a treadmill to suddenly having to consider an early return as a legit possibility. Lord knows if tomorrow we get video of him playing 1 on 1 or something I’m not sure how I will react.