Celtics guard Marcus Smart revealed Tuesday that his 63-year-old mother, Camellia, has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of cancer caused by abnormalities in the blood-forming cells in bone marrow.
“At this point, from what they told me, they’re just trying to preserve life right now,” Smart said. “You can’t fix it. Would have to get a whole transplant, and at her age that’s tough. Transplant would probably be more harmful than good.”
Smart, who has been sidelined since tearing a tendon in his right thumb on March 11, learned of his mother’s condition when he visited her in Texas for a few days last week. Camellia Smart once made it through quadruple-bypass surgery, and Smart is confident that she will fight this disease, too.
“It’s tough, but my mom is a tough cookie,” Smart said. “As long as she’s fighting it.”
Smart said that his mother urged him to return to the Celtics to continue to rehabilitate his thumb and get back on the court as soon as possible. The Celtics have said that Smart could be back on April 27, which would put him in line for a potential Game 7 against the Bucks, or Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“She told me she’d rather I was here than back there, doing what I love to do,” Smart said, “because she loves to watch me play, because that would put a smile on her face if I got back healthy and back on the court.”
Smart and his family have been struck by cancer before. Smart’s older brother, Todd Westbrook, died from the disease in 2004. Smart said he is planning to see his mother again soon, when doctors have a better idea how to proceed with a treatment plan.
“Everybody, we wish it wouldn’t happen to us,” Smart said. “We pray and hope. A lot of us, we forget and we take life for granted. We think it’s not going to happen to us until it actually does. And then you have to be faced with a problem that some people have never faced before. For me, I’ve faced it before, so we kind of know how to go about it and make sure she’s comfortable and make sure whatever she needs is taken care of.”
Watching the clock
The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report from Game 1 revealed that Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo took more than the allotted 10 seconds before attempting free throws in overtime of his team’s 113-107 loss.
If players take more than 10 seconds before shooting after a referee hands them the ball, it is supposed to be a violation, although it is almost never called during a game.
Antetokounmpo attempted 16 free throws in Sunday’s game, but the league’s report only accounted for those taken in the final two minutes of overtime.
The All-Star forward has been called for a 10-second violation at least once before, during Milwaukee’s Dec. 7, 2016, game against the Trail Blazers.
“It has been brought up in the past and we’re aware of the things that are in the Two Minute Report,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said. “Like I said, it’s been brought up in the past and there’s a lot of things that get brought up that we address with the team as need be. Don’t want to go into the Two Minute Report being why we do or do not do things.”
In Game 2 on Tuesday, some fans at TD Garden counted the seconds aloud after Antetokounmpo was handed the ball at the foul line. He made just 4 of 9 free throws, including one air-ball.
Hayward in Indy
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that forward Gordon Hayward is in Indianapolis working with a running specialist at the St. Vincent Sports Performance Center as he continues his recovery from the broken ankle he suffered in October.
“We worked with them at Butler,” Stevens said. “He worked with some of their trainers when he was doing the pre-draft stuff. There’s a lot of familiarity there. He knows them well. One of the doctors he’s been consulting within Indy also works with them. There’s a lot of familiarity there. It seems like a logical next step for them.”
Night on the town
Faces in the crowd: Patriots owner Robert Kraft, wide receiver Julian Edelman, and running back James White, as well as women’s Marathon winner Desiree Linden.