Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart still needs more time to recover from an ankle injury, but the eight-year NBA veteran will be ready to go for training camp later this month.
Smart sustained this injury against the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics went on to defeat the Heat in Game 7 at FTX Arena.
In an interview with CLNS Media, Smart mentioned, “My ankle is feeling better, it’s still healing, so I’m dealing with that.” Last season, the 28-year-old won NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Caught up with Marcus Smart at his YounGameChanger pop-up store in Boston today. He told @CLNSMedia he's still recovering from his ECF ankle injury
"I'm dealing with that. Just giving it as much rest as I can."
"I'm pretty close (to 100%)."
— Bobby Manning (@RealBobManning) September 3, 2022
Marcus Smart became the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in 1996. He also became the fifth guard to win the award in league history, alongside Albert Robertson, Michael Jordan, Sidney Moncrief and Payton.
Right now, Wolverine is taking things slow. He prefers to rest his ankle.
“Just giving it as much rest as I can, but definitely back on the court,” continued Smart.
“I’m definitely back into the action. It feels like yesterday we just started playing, we haven’t really missed a beat, but I’m definitely doing everything I can to be ready for next season and to go deeper.”
Marcus Smart on ankle injury: “I’m pretty close to 100 percent”
When asked about a potential return date, the guard replied, “I’m pretty close [to 100%], obviously it’s September, you don’t want to be in June, July, May shape right so I’m trying not to go too crazy, but I’m really close and I’ve been doing this going into my ninth season.”
“So for me, I know exactly what I need and I what I need to get myself ready, so I’ll so be there.”
In the 2021-22 season, Marcus Smart averaged 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in 71 appearances. In addition to averaging 32.3 minutes per game, the guard shot 41.8% from the field and 33.1% from 3-point range.
Not to mention, on top of winning his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Smart received his third NBA All-Defensive First-Team selection.
In the Celtics’ 127-102 win over the Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Smart ended his performance with a playoff career-high 12 assists. He also finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Of course, in six games of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the guard averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.
During the interview, Marcus Smart was asked how the Celtics handled the Finals loss. He replied, “We learned a lot out of our experience and unfortunately we had to lose to do that, but we now know what it takes to play, to be there, the stress it takes on you, mentally, physically, emotionally.”
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