BOSTON (CBS) -- Marcus Smart had to sit out Tuesday night's Game 2 win in Boston, but the Celtics are hopeful that they'll have their starting point guard back for Saturday's Game 3 in Milwaukee.
Smart himself sounded optimistic after practicing Thursday, telling reporters that there's a "strong likelihood" that he's able to go on Saturday night.
"Some of the swelling has gone down, still dealing with some," Smart said Thursday. "Just taking it day by day."
The three days off between games will certainly help Smart's cause of returning to the series, which is knotted up at a game apiece. Games 3 and 4 will be in Milwaukee on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said Tuesday that the team doesn't believe that Smart's injury will be a long-term issue. During his Thursday morning appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak & Beterand, Udoka said that Smart was going to do some movement work at practice.
"These three days have been big for him and we are anticipating he'll be good to go for Game 3," Udoka added.
Smart took a couple of shots to his quad in Game 1, and though he left the court briefly in the first half, he finished the game and saw 33 minutes of action. He's a key part of the Boston defense, though the Celtics didn't really miss a beat on that end of the floor in Game 2. Derrick White started in Smart's place, while the defense was anchored by some exceptional one-on-one defense against Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, courtesy of Al Horford and Grant Williams.
Game 3 is Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm in Milwaukee.
for more features.