'Safe bet' former Boston Celtics glue guy gets healthy to face Cs in emotional return

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics / Omar Rawlings/GettyImages

Inside The Celtics' Bobby Krivitsky believes former glue guy and all-time Boston Celtics fan-favorite Marcus Smart will do whatever it takes to make be healthy enough to return to the TD Garden on February 4.

"Smart's first trip back to TD Garden is on Feb. 4, meaning he has less than a month to heal enough to participate," Krivitsky prefaced before saying, "While it may be easier for him to take in what will be one of the most emotional games he's been a part of from the sideline, it's a safe bet that between the meaning behind the matchup, the lengths he goes to for his teammates, and as a competitor, he'll do everything he can to be in the lineup."

NBA insider Shams Charania reported that Smart would miss approximately the next six weeks of action.

"Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart has sustained a severe right ring finger injury and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks, sources tell (The Athletic and Stadium)," Charania prefaced before bluntly stating, "Another difficult injury blow in season for the Grizzlies."

Marcus Smart prioritizing TD Garden return would show heart is still with Boston Celtics

If Smart even innocently mentions that he wasn't going to miss his TD Garden return, it would make it clear that the Grizzlies never had his full attention anyway.

The 2023-24 season has been shockingly disappointing for Memphis, which hasn't had Ja Morant for all but nine games and will continue to be without him for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and Smart's career-high numbers are looking like empty stats; something he never collected on a Cs team that went to the playoffs every year he was there.

Could the Grizzlies already regret the Smart trade? Probably not yet, since a lot of bad luck -- not just Morant, but Steven Adams is also out for the season and never even played a game -- has stricken this season seemingly dead in its tracks.

But if Smart makes his return in the city of Boston, which would be roughly a week and a half ahead of the six-week timetable?

It'd be hard to deny that his heart is still with the Celtics.