Listen I get what Danny is trying to do here. It’s his job to lower everyone’s expectations when it comes to the return of Marcus Smart. Now I don’t think anyone with a brain considered it a real possibility that Smart would be playing in the first two games of this series, but with each and every day we’re getting more and more video evidence that his recovery is progressing pretty damn well. Smart even said himself he feels like he’s ahead of schedule and who am I to call him a liar? Factor in that the Celtics are notorious when it comes to lying to us about injuries/recovery times, there’s zero chance I’m buying any of the conservative talk coming from Danny and Brad. Maybe it’s partly strategic so the Bucks don’t spend time factoring Smart into their game planning, maybe they don’t want to make it seem like they need to pressure Smart back before he’s 100%, but there’s one thing Ainge is forgetting in regards to this whole topic.
The internet exists, and it’s contradicting everything he’s saying.
For example, a few days ago we had him on the treadmill, looking hurt as hell but actually doing work. Then we had him on an elipticall and talking about how he was finally happy to get a hard workout in. Now today we are blessed with perhaps the most encouraging piece of evidence we’ve received so far. That’s right, Marcus Smart is sprinting. Yes, I said sprinting
It’s also important to remember when it comes to Danny Ainge, you have to read in between the lines to figure out what he’s really saying. When he says something like it’ll be a long shot for Smart to play next weekend, my ears perk up. Technically the Celtics don’t play next weekend, they play Friday/Monday. Even if you want to be generous and consider Friday the weekend, that still has Monday’s Game 4 as something that would not qualify as a “weekend” game. That’s also when a lot of people speculated Smart would return in the first place. If you do the math, May 6th would be around 4 weeks since his initial injury, and right in line with the 4-6 week recovery. I’m not saying it’s a slam dunk, but if he’s looking this good already and we haven’t even started the series yet I’m having a hard time believing Ainge that Smart isn’t remotely close.
At some point it wouldn’t shock me if Ainge catches wind of these leaks and finds a way to ban video from practices because every one that comes out seems to be better than the last and my brain is starting to go to dangerous places. This series just needs to start already because I’m losing my shit.