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Marcus Smart expected to return to Celtics for Sunday’s game after COVID-free

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Marcus Smart expected to return to Celtics for Sunday’s game after COVID-free

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Smart has missed the Celtics’ last six games, primarily due to adhering to league health and safety protocols.

Marcus Smart is likely for Sunday’s game against the Wizards. AP Photo/Steve Dipaola

The Celtics need some good news after their latest slump on Friday night. It seems they have.

Point guard Marcus Smart is likely to play in Sunday’s game against the Wizards. Smart has missed the Celtics’ last six games, missing the first game of that streak with a right thigh contusion before entering league health and safety protocols. Smart cleared health and safety protocols on Tuesday but missed Wednesday’s game against the Hornets and Friday’s game against the Blazers due to physical conditioning.

The Celtics did well early in Smart’s absence, going 3-1 in the first four games – putting up strong offensive performances in wins over the Pacers and Bulls. But the losses of the last two games showed the Celtics showed how badly they missed their starting point guard at both ends of the field. Hornets goaltender Terry Rozier scored 28 points in the Celtics’ loss on Wednesday, shooting 6 for 11 from 3-point range. The Celtics were goalless in the 7:10 game finale on Friday as they lost to the Blazers, 109-105.

Smart is averaging 5.3 assists per game this season. Go with his best team assist average, the Celtics have also performed better with him on the floor this season than with him off. Smart’s plus-minus per 100 possessions is plus-3.8 and his on-off plus-minus per possession is plus-5.8.

In addition to Smart’s likely return, backup guard Aaron Nesmith is also likely for Sunday’s game. Nesmith has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. While struggling to get minutes in his second season, Nesmith had some decent performances before the recent ankle injury. He scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting against the 76ers and five points plus six rebounds in Monday’s win over the Pelicans.



Marcus Smart expected to return to Celtics for Sunday’s game after COVID-free

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