After missing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals due to a right mid-foot sprain, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was determined to get back on the court for Game 2 on Thursday, he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Smart was especially motivated to return after having called out his teammates for letting a lead slip away in an ugly third quarter on Tuesday.
“I actually got into the guys. I really chewed into them,” Smart said. “They felt it and I felt bad for them because it’s one thing to be out there with your guys and then another thing to not be playing and hearing me come at them the way I did. So for me, when I inserted myself back in for Game 2, I wanted to come back and show the guys what I meant by my words and with my actions. I’m showing them I got y’all backs.”
Smart showed no signs of rust in his return on Thursday, recording a near triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, and three steals. As Haynes notes, Smart was the first Celtic to put up at least 20 points, 10 assists, and three steals in a playoff game since Rajon Rondo did it 10 years ago.
“I did not see that stat, but I’ll take it,” Smart told Haynes. “That’s an awesome, awesome accomplishment. I’m just trying to do what I can to help my team win. These games are important.”
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- After playing a huge role in the Celtics’ Game 7 win over Milwaukee last round, forward Grant Williams was once again a difference-maker on Thursday, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Williams, who is extension-eligible this offseason, can space the floor offensively and is a versatile defender. He had 19 points and was a plus-37 in 32 minutes in Game 2. “He just (has come) a long way from his first year,” teammate Jayson Tatum said of Williams. “He’s worked on his game, and he’s developed into somebody that we believe and trust in to catch it at half court.”
- Heat guard Max Strus, who has started every game for Miami since the start of the postseason, began his professional career by signing a two-way contract with the Celtics in 2019, but was waived before that season began. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka acknowledged on Thursday that Boston “might have missed out on that one,” tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Strus was also on Chicago’s roster before joining the Heat in November 2020.
- Sam Hauser is the only Celtic listed on the injury report for Saturday’s Game 3, so the team should have its full rotation available for that pivotal contest, tweets Bontemps. That includes Derrick White, who missed Game 2 for family reasons.
8 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Smart, G. Williams, Strus, White”
I mentioned Horford and Grant Williams presenting matchup problems for the Heat before the series, and those guys pretty much destroyed them last night. I also talked about make or miss possibly being what this comes down to, and the Celtics shot the lights out…
Not sure what the situation is with PJ Tucker now, but I also really cant comprehend why Duncan Robinson wouldnt be playing in this matchup, and if not him, maybe someone like Haywood Highsmith could get a look to give them some help with his length on the wing, and he can knock down shots as well…As I also said, I’m not sure I would play Dedmon in this matchup either
When White comes back, it might help the Heat continue to play so many guards in this matchup, so I’m really curious to see what both teams rotations will look like in game 3, but with these being such similar teams, I think make or miss will ultimately decide the outcome of the series, not that that’s some kind of revelation lol
With Smart back, it would be nice to have Lowry, but then it’s a difficult conversation to sit Vincent or Oladipo, and we saw in the games against Philly they just played everyone of those guards, without Duncan Robinson, and they lost those games
Strus looked like a Miami Heat player when I first saw him in summer league a few years ago, but then he tore his ACL. Boston also had a lot of depth at that point, so hard to blame them for that
Development matters. Not all organizations develop players the same. Toronto and Miami are in a class of their own when it comes to player development.
Fit also matters and can be the difference between a guy being a rotation player and being out of the league in not much time
Ehhh I’d put Denver and San Antonio in that class.
I remember fans saying Marcus Smart should not shoot threes & that’s he no point guard. I remember these same Celtics “fans” saying the team couldn’t make threes. I remember some saying Grant Williams was trash. Or that Al Horford was done &, of course, couldn’t make threes anymore. Success favors the optimist. Go Celtics!
What else can you say? Celtics fans, generally, are a bunch of haters even when it comes to their own team. My co-worker can be quoted ‘I’m done with this team’ around Christmas time. Nowadays he won’t stop saying ‘Banner 18.’ I remind him ‘job’s not finished’ as we get back to work. Go Lakers
Go Lakers? Where are they going? Sure isn’t the finals anytime soon.
Hopefully, the Lakers can go to the trade block and rid themselves of their unruly king. The show is over it’s time we destroy & rebuild it.