Marcus Smart will return to Celtics’ starting lineup for Game 3 vs. Bucks


Celtics

Smart missed Game 2 due to a right thigh contusion.

Marcus Smart will trade his robe for a uniform for Game 3. Steven Senne / AP Photo

The Celtics are getting the Defensive Player of the Year back for Game 3 in their second-round series against the Bucks.

Marcus Smart is available to play and will start with no restrictions in Saturday’s game at Milwaukee. The Celtics’ starting point guard missed Game 2 due to a right thigh contusion injury he suffered in Game 1. Smart initially left Game 1 before halftime with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. He returned for the second half of that game, with the team later revealing he suffered a stinger.

Smart’s return to the lineup is much-welcomed news for the Celtics. Even though they won Game 2 and allowed just 86 points (a season-low for the Bucks), Boston is just 5-7 in the 12 Smart games missed this season. The Celtics have allowed 105.8 points per game when Smart’s been out this season, up from the 104.5 points per game they allowed on average during the regular season. Their offense takes an even bigger hit statistically with Smart out, averaging just 107.7 points per game when he’s sidelined. That’s down from the 111.8 points per game they averaged throughout the regular season.

Guard Derrick White struggled offensively while filling in for Smart in the starting lineup in Game 2. He didn’t score a point, shooting 0-for-6, but had five assists. Smart didn’t have the best shooting performance in Game 1 either, scoring 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. But he had six assists in the game and is averaging 6.8 assists per game in the playoffs so far.

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