The Boston Celtics’ unlikely run to the Eastern Conference Finals has been driven by a total team effort. But the team may not have made it out of the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks had it not been for the return and gritty play of guard Marcus Smart.
Smart had surgery to repair an injured thumb in March before hitting the court just one month later for Game 5, scoring nine points, five rebounds and four assists in a win against the Bucks.
There’s no question what Smart has meant to the Celtics, from his tenacity on defense to his aggressive offensive style. As Boston prepares for its biggest test yet — against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers — the buildup to the Conference Finals showdown took a slight detour to discuss Smart’s impending restricted free agency on Friday.