Adam Himmelsbach: Stevens says Tatum and Smart trending upward but both still sore. Tatum further along than Smart.
Not only did the Celtics lose to the Orlando Magic at TD Garden Sunday night, 116-108, but Boston also lost guard Marcus Smart and forward Jayson Tatum to injuries. Smart sustained a left oblique strain, a source tells ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, though coach Brad Stevens called it a bruise. Tatum has a left shin contusion.
Boston eventually called a timeout, and Smart limped to the bench -- only to convince the training staff that he was all right, and could stay in the game. But after the Celtics had the ball for one offensive possession -- a possession where Smart was clearly moving gingerly -- he called for the bench to replace him as he limped back on defense before falling to the ground, holding his side. "He felt like it was spasming on that second trip down the court," Stevens said. Smart would eventually get to his feet and hobble to the locker room with help from the trainers. "We'll see what that looks like tomorrow," Stevens said. "He was a little sore, but was walking around, which was good, in the locker room."
Brian Robb: Rozier and Theis are out due to illness tonight. Tatum (shoulder) and Smart (illness) are expected to play, per Celtics.
Jay King: Marcus Smart officially out against the Nets, per the Celtics. PJ Dozier has been recalled from the Red Claws with Boston's starting backcourt out.
Chris Mannix: Marcus Smart tells @The Vertical he experienced more soreness than usual in his injured thumb tonight, due to the positioning of the splint protecting it. Says he will adjust it before the next game. "I'm not worried about it," Smart tells Y!
Jay King: Marcus Smart said he felt "no soreness" in his thumb after Game 5. "My body's more sore than my thumb is so that's a good sign as well."
Chris Forsberg: Celtics 92, Bucks 87 Al Horford 22 points, 14 rebounds. Marcus Smart 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists in his first game in six weeks. Celtics up 3-2 going back to Milwaukee.
Chris Forsberg: Marcus Smart checks in for the first time since March 11. Garden reacts accordingly.
Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens explains Marcus Smart's pregame workout: "It was more of a jog through, put a body on people. Those types of things. (Alex) Barlow was the main guy and, I mean, anybody in here can beat Barlow. Getting a little physical. Maybe not Scal."
Scott Souza: #Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart has no minute restriction because of thumb, but that he "won't play 35 minutes tonight" because he's been out six weeks.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he will have his surgically repaired right thumb evaluated by a doctor in New York on Tuesday, and that he could then be cleared for a return to game action. Smart said that if he is cleared, he believes he will able to play in Game 6 against the Bucks on Thursday. “Right now that’s the plan,” Smart said Sunday, before the Celtics’ 104-102 loss in Game 4 of their opening-round series. “We’re still on the same track. I’ve been doing everything but contact, so once I get the [go-ahead] and start doing contact, I’m ready for game action.”
“I think the thumb, the surgery did its job,” he said. “Thumb is holding up well. I feel ready. I feel strong enough to get back out there. I’m just waiting on the OK.” Smart tore a tendon in his right thumb when he was chasing a loose ball during the Celtics’ March 11 game against the Pacers. He underwent surgery a few days later and the Celtics said he was expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.
Tom Westerholm: Smart says the shooting splint feels “real comfortable.” “It feels like nothing’s there."
Gary Washburn: Marcus Smart was at BMO Bradley Center today working out with some of his teammates in an informal session. #Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart could return for a potential Game 7 next week.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens on Marcus Smart: He's working on lower body and conditioning as much as he can now. Earlier I've been told he can return is April 27. We are still a ways away from that and a lot of games away from that. Don't know if that timeline holds.
Smart called his torn ligament “fixed,” but said he still needs to rebuild the muscles around his thumb before returning to the court. He didn't entirely rule out a return before Game 7 of the first round, but the current plan calls for another evaluation almost two weeks from now to decide the next step. Smart's return, whenever it comes, would push the Celtics to another level, especially on the defensive end where he gives more teeth to an already fierce bite. With Kyrie Irving set to miss the entire playoff run, the Celtics have a greater need now for Smart's pick-and-roll playmaking, as well.
"Today was the first day with the new splint on to actually get out here and do something. So the thumb felt well," said Smart, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament on March 16. "We're on track for [a return in the] next three weeks, possibly Game 7 of the first round, [but] definitely second round. So we're on the right path."
Smart's return would be a needed boost for a young Celtics team. The team set a six- to eight-week timeline after his surgery. "I've got hopes," Smart said. "We're very optimistic. But the last thing we want to do is get out there and rush anything and we're back to square one. So right now the timetable is still the same. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, things change and we can move it up earlier."
Marcus Smart could be ready to play in a little more than two weeks. The question is whether the Celtics still will be playing. Celts coach Brad Stevens confirmed an ESPN report that the guard is doing well as he comes back from right thumb surgery. Smart saw a specialist in New York on Monday and returned to Boston to continue his rehab. “I think from everything that I’ve been told, he’ll be re-evaluated middle of next week,” Stevens said. “The April 27 date is the earliest that I’ve heard that he could be back. So we’ll cross our fingers and see.”
Marcus Smart, who has been sidelined since mid-March after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, is reportedly progressing through his post-surgery rehab as well as anyone could have hoped for. According to coach Brad Stevens, the fourth-year guard could be back on the court before the month of April is over. “From everything I’ve been told, he’ll be re-evaluated in the middle of next week,” Stevens told members of the media ahead of shootaround at Georgetown University prior to the Celtics' matchup against the Washington Wizards. “April 27 is the earliest he could be back, so we’ll cross our fingers and see.”
Celtics: #NEBHInjuryReport: Marcus Smart’s hand will be re-evaluated next week, per Brad Stevens. He could possibly return by April 27.
Bill Doyle: Brad Stevens doesn't expect Marcus Smart back anytime soon. "Again, it was six to eight weeks from surgery with a splint before he resumes basketball activities which is a big difference from playing in a playoff game."
Adam Himmelsbach: According to a league source, Celtics guard Marcus Smart is scheduled to have his right thumb reevaluated by doctors next week, at which time an updated timetable for his return could become more clear. As of now, conference semifinals remain the most likely possibility.
Mark Murphy: Stevens not taking it for granted that either Irving or Smart will be back: "There’s a big difference between (basketball activity) and playing, so we don’t know when we’re going to have those guys back."
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he's confident he'll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week. Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery. "I am confident [I'll be back for the playoffs]," Smart said Monday night, his right arm completely wrapped, at his annual bowling fundraiser for his YounGameChanger Foundation. "I had one of the top [hand] doctors do it. The surgery was a success. Like she told me, you might as well go on and get it now. The quicker you can get it, the quicker the recovery.
Chris Forsberg: Is Marcus Smart confident he’ll be back in playoffs? “I am confident ... I’m real real real excited and eager to get back out there, whenever that is. Hopefully sooner than later.” It was Smart and Hayward working out together today in Waltham. “I got a workout partner.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics Marcus Smart said timetable is 6-8 weeks in thumb. Tore ligaments completely. Was told would be out longer the longer he waited on surgery so that's why he did it as soon as possible to be back for playoffs.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Marcus Smart said he was "scared" when first told of tear that injury would be season-ending, but now confident team will last long enough in playoffs for him to get back.
The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Marcus Smart underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. Smart is expected to return to basketball activities in 6 to 8 weeks.
Ben Rohrbach: Danny Ainge to @Toucherandrich: Celtics keeping fingers crossed Marcus Smart’s thumb injury isn’t season-ending. He’s getting a second opinion in New York today.
A. Sherrod Blakely: MARCUS SMART UPDATE: He will meet with a hand specialist in New York City, sources tell @NBCSBoston. The focus is to see if there’s a path that will allow him to play with his thumb injury while minimizing the risk of making it worst.
Smart could potentially require season-ending surgery, but that's not a certainty at this point. During a Wednesday afternoon interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zola & Bertrand, Stevens said the guard's injury situation is more unclear than any of his other hurting teammates. "I would say that at the end of the day, Marcus is going to seek a second opinion, confer with everybody that he's talked to, and make the right decision from there that he's comfortable with, that we're comfortable with, that everybody's comfortable with," Stevens said on the radio show.
One league source said Smart’s outlook “doesn’t look good.” Ainge, meanwhile, acknowledged that surgery could be an option for the fourth-year guard, but said that Smart is hoping to take the next few days to see how the injury responds to treatment. He said Smart will also seek a second opinion from a hand specialist.
Smart, who will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, is prepared to play through pain, but if there is a chance he could further damage his hand then he would not risk it.
Mark Murphy: League source says Celtics don't know probability of Marcus Smart playing again this season. "(They're) waiting for that second opinion. Don't know if it's a 50 percent chance or a 30 percent chance. Just don't know."
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is being evaluated for a potentially torn right thumb tendon and is seeking multiple opinions, two people with knowledge of the situation told Celtics Wire under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Smart will seek a second opinion this week to determine the severity of the tendon damage and whether surgery is needed. Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania was the first to report the potential tear.
Shams Charania: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has suffered a torn tendon in his right thumb, league sources tell Yahoo. He will have second opinions on his thumb and be out indefinitely.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Right thumb injury to Celtics guard Marcus Smart -- for now, called a sprain -- is under scrutiny with medical staff, league sources tell ESPN. Still unclear if Smart can play through it -- or will need to miss time.
Mark Murphy: Team spokesman said Smart expected to miss unspecified amount of time with sprained thumb. Severity of injury still being determined.
Jay King: Marcus Smart is available, as expected. Celtics will stay with the regular starting lineup with Baynes in the middle.
Scott Souza: #Celtics guard Marcus Smart said about a 3-inch shard of glass was pulled out of his hand by doctors after he punched picture frame. Said it was between tendons. If had clipped one, told he would have needed season-ending surgery. Considers himself very fortunate.
A. Sherrod Blakely: According to league sources, #Celtics Marcus Smart was back in town yesterday and had a private workout with the team. He has been officially cleared to practice tonight and play Friday.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens repeated that he stands by his disappointment in Marcus Smart for hand incident, has talked to him about putting teammates in bad spot w/o him for 3 weeks. Then added C's are ready to move on & looking forward to getting him back next week.
Bill Doyle: Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart (hand) will be out until after All-Star break. Shane Larkin (knee) also out today.
Scott Souza: #Celtics guard Marcus Smart to be re-evaluated tonight at game for hand progress. Likely out through All-Star break but hopeful for return soon after that.
June 28, 2022 | 10:51 am EDT Update
We’re talking about, you know, high-ranking people who believe that Kyrie is not this is not done. I don’t know. Yeah, let me just say this about the Lakers: He obviously was very interested in joining the Lakers, and the Lakers are very interested in having him. The problem is, is that the Lakers can’t really right now.
Brian Windhorst: “The word is amongst executives… I talked to a couple executives today who believe that Nick Claxton that he’ll be back with the with the Nets, that’s been worked out. Or I shouldn’t say it’s been worked out: there’s an understanding.
June 28, 2022 | 9:57 am EDT Update
The New York Knicks have had exploratory discussions on trading center Nerlens Noel to the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told HoopsHype. Noel could fit into the Clippers’ $9.7 million trade exception previously generated by the Serge Ibaka trade. The Knicks have a surplus of draft pick compensation (22 picks total over the next seven years) to dangle.
This would seem to end the Irving drama for the Nets, at least for now, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says people around the NBA are skeptical. On the latest episode of The Hoop Collective pod, Windy revealed what he has been hearing on this situation after Kyrie’s decision (h/t RealGM): “I think it turned down the heat in at least kept the Nets with two star players, with all of their options for next year alive,” said Brian Windhorst. “And, boy, was that not what some people, agents and executives thought. They don’t think this is over. “Now, Kyrie tried to make it sound like it was over. ‘I’ll see you in the fall’ sounds like it’s over.”
Windy went on to say that Irving did not tell the Nets about his decision before it went public. He also reiterated that people around the league don’t really believe Kyrie is actually all in: “I don’t know if anything has changed,” said Windhorst. “The people I talk to in the league are skeptical that Kyrie is going to be all for one and one for all on this.”
Something important to consider is that Irving’s stature around the league should improve from its current state if he can stay healthy in 2022-23. After all, the seven-time All-Star tied a career-high with 27.4 points per game in just 29 contests last season and did so at roughly the same efficiency as the rest of his career. Anything close to a full season could remind the basketball world what Irving can do on the court, even at 30 years old, which could propel him to a longer tenure in Brooklyn or a more significant long-term commitment from another franchise than he received over the last few weeks. No matter what, it will be simultaneously fascinating and significant for both the league landscape and the future of the Brooklyn Nets.