MILWAUKEE – Marcus Smart is moving closer to a return from his left oblique tear, and while there’s still uncertainty as to when that will be, another question has entered the picture.
With the Celtics’ rotation playing so well in his absence through the first five games/wins of the postseason, one might think he’s concerned about messing that up when he’s ready to go.
But it’s a measure of Smart’s fidelity to the team concept that he’ll back off, if necessary. He’ll be ready to play. He’ll also be ready to not play.
“The beauty about me is I’m not too worried about the individual things,” Smart told the Herald as the Celts took the court Tuesday morning to prepare for Game 2 against the Bucks. “So, you know, I’m willing to do whatever and I’m going to do whatever when I come back to keep this momentum going, this flow going.
“And like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So right now we’re rocking, and it’s no need to change that. So even if I’m able to come back this series or next series or whenever I do come back, there’s no reason to change what’s working right now.”
And no matter how big or small his role may be, “I’m cool with it,” he said. “I’m here to win games and try to win a championship for my team and the city. I’m not worried about individual stats or anything like that. When you win, everything falls into place, so I’ll just try to do everything I can to help this team win when I come back.”
The Celts have clearly helped themselves since leaving what Al Horford called the “nonsense” of the regular season behind.
“Yeah, there a lot of stuff that goes on in the regular season that you don’t see in the playoffs,” Smart said. “There’s just something about the playoffs that changes people, that changes teams and really motivates guys to want to do good and do the right thing. We understand what it takes in the playoffs. We understand what we have to do as a team, and we need each other.
“We’ve got a group of guys who’ve been here before, who’ve done it before. Some more than others, but a lot of our young guys have been thrown in the fire early, so they’ve gotten to experience this before. Like I say, it’s a different level of play once the playoffs start, and every knows that and recognizes that. That’s the beauty of it. Everybody goes to a different level. That’s what makes the playoffs so great.”
And what makes it so difficult for Smart to be unavailable.
“I mean, it’s hard not being out there. I want to be out there,” he said. “It’s hard watching those guys go to battle without you. You’ve been through the preparation with those guys, and to not be out there with them trying to create something is definitely difficult. But things happen. It’s part of the game. It’s part of our careers.
“It’s a different level when the playoffs hit. It’s a different expectation – from players, coaches, fans, everybody – and that’s what you work for, for these moments.”
The post Marcus Smart won’t get in Celtics’ way when he returns appeared first on Boston Herald.