Smart to start Saturday for Celtics in summer league


LAS VEGAS – Marcus Smart plans to start tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers.

His summer league schedule beyond that?

Smart has no idea.

“It’s kind of need to know right now,” he said. “Whatever they tell me, I do as I’m told. As of right now, I am playing today [against Portland]. I don’t know about tomorrow.”

The Celtics are trying to balance the need to get Smart some much-needed time at the point running the team, with not working him too hard and potentially putting him at risk for getting hurt.

Boston saw an ankle injury sustained by Utah’s Dante Exum in their first game at the Utah Jazz Summer League result in Exum wearing a brace for the rest of the league.

And closer to home, Celtics wing man James Young bruised his hip bone, which will keep him out of tonight’s game.

Plus, Boston wants to see its other young players such as Terry Rozier, the team’s first-round pick last month, see a decent amount of action, which can only be enhanced by occasionally sitting Smart.

Smart will be the first to tell you that he wants to play in as many games as possible, so the idea of sitting out a game when he’s healthy enough to play isn’t one he endorses.

And as far as lobbying the coaching staff and front office to play, Smart said, “I can try. They already have their minds set; just have to roll with the punches.”

Smart appeared in two of Boston’s three Summer League games in Utah, where he averaged 24 points and 7.5 assists, while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent on 3s.

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