Marcus Smart still on track for 4/27 return despite warming up at Game 1

Your eyes were not deceiving you, Marcus Smart was indeed getting up shots before Game One of the first-round series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

I know what you're thinking. How could I blame you? With Kyrie Irving trotting about without crutches and Smart chucking up the shot we all love to hate (except for when it goes in), it's only natural to wonder if these two key players might make a return before they're supposed to.

Irving, we are told, is coming along nicely in terms of recovery - though still on track for the predicted four to five month schedule.

Smart will actually be able to play in the last game of this series (due to be played on April 28th) should his tendon heal in the anticipated timeline, with the earliest date he'll be granted the option to return on April 27th.
Should the series end before that, he'd be ready for the start of Game One in the East Semifinals (if Boston is still in the mix), but, despite shooting on-court the other night, won't return any sooner. While the tendon might be stable enough to handle the rigors of catching and shooting, we all know Marcus like to throw himself at loose balls, and his tendon needs to be ready for the intense brand of defense Smart is known for.
For now, at least, the Celtics look OK without him, as the Bucks struggle to find consistent offense outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. If they are lucky, they can win at home tonight and avoid having to take both games in Milwaukee later this week. Either way, it's comforting to know Marcus' defense will be ready and waiting in a potential game seven.

For more stories by Justin, click here.

Image: Christopher Evans/Boston Herald
Video: NBC Boston
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn