Marcus Smart Cleared to Play in Game 5 for Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    Up to Brad Stevens and coaching staff as to how he is utilized at critical moment in series.


    Losers of their last two games, both coming in Milwaukee, the Boston Celtics may be getting a sizable dose of help ahead of tonight’s critical Game 5.

    According to numerous sources, including Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe, Marcus Smart has been cleared to play as of this morning.

    Smart was expected to be nearing a return by the end of this series and the good news continued last night with word that he would be meeting with a hand specialist today. That meeting has apparently gone well and it is now up to Celtics coach Brad Stevens and staff as to in what capacity Smart will be used.

    According to Himmelsbach, Stevens said Tuesday:

    “One thing is he hasn’t played in a month and a half. So this is an opportunity to come in and do what he does best, and that’s impact the game with his energy, his physicality, his savvy and his skill. I think one of the things obviously when you’ve got a player of his caliber, he’s really excited to play. But at the same time we’ll see how he feels. Again, if he’s got any lingering effects at all after going a two-on-two or a three-on-three here in an hour or so, then we won’t play him.”

    Boston led the series 2-0 before leaving for Wisconsin, where the Celtics suffered back-to-back defeats to even things up.

    Smart last played on March 11, when he had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a two-point loss to Indiana. He shot 6 of 12 from 3-point land in that game, which was his eighth game back after missing 11 games with a separate, conspicuous hand injury.

    Stay tuned to CLNSMedia.com and @CelticsCLNS on Twitter for an update on Smart’s status later this afternoon and the complete daily Boston Celtics Newsfeed podcast.