The Celtics and Bucks are in the midst of a three-day break between Games 3 and 4 of their playoff series. Seems excessively long, especially if the C’s wanted to carry any momentum from a blowout win in Game 2 into the next one.

But there seems to be an unexpected benefit from the NBA’s odd schedule layout for the series: point guard Marcus Smart could have just enough time to return from a quad injury for Game 3 on Saturday, thanks to the extended break. Head coach Ime Udoka sounded optimistic about Smart’s imminent return when he gave an update on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand Thursday.

“He’s feeling better every day,” Udoka said. “We’ll get some movement in today, see how he feels. Obviously [Friday], an extra day, as well, of rest, so these three days have been big for him. We are anticipating he’ll be good to go for Game 3.”

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President of Basketball Ops Brad Stevens also spoke Thursday, with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and was a tad more cautious when he spoke about Smart. But he laid out Smart’s most recent rehab, and he’s remaining hopeful.

“Marcus was in the gym [Wednesday] on an off day for the rest of our team, he got some work in the weight room,” Stevens said. “It looked like he had a little bit better bend. That was the thing, he had enough swelling in his quad that he didn’t have ideal ability to really get low and bend [that knee]. It looked like he was doing a little bit better. I don’t know what he’s going to be cleared to do in practice, but we’ll see as the days go on. We’re hopeful, but not certain [about Game 3].”

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Stevens was also asked about Jaylen Brown’s health and said he’s “monitoring it closely.” Brown has been playing through an apparent hamstring injury, but that didn’t stop him from dropping 30 points (including 25 in the first half) to propel the Celtics to victory in Game 2.

Celtics-Bucks Game 3 takes place on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Milwaukee. You can get the call of the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub, starting with pregame coverage at 3.

PHOTOS: Celtics take on Bucks in Game 2 of 2022 playoff series

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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