The Celtics are standing out for all the wrong reasons on defense. Progress has to begin somewhere, and Boston's 94-88 loss to Portland may serve as the team's jumping-off point.
Celtics rank 29th in the league in free throw attempts per game at 19.3. And their free throw attempt/field goal attempt ratio is dead-last in the league.
Marcus Smart returned to Celtics practice on Wednesday, but didn't last long. He took himself out after the early portion.
Marcus Smart may be close to a return to the court, but Brad Stevens isn't pretending like it'll fix all the Celtics' problems.
Marcus Smart's No. 3 tattoo is in honor of his brother, who died of cancer when he was 10. And memories flooded back at a 'Teaming Up Against Cancer' rally in Lawrence on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies are still holding onto the top spot in this week's NBA Power Rankings, but some other teams are climbing closer.