Brad Stevens


WALTHAM, Mass. — The return of Marcus Smart to the Boston Celtics lineup is near and his teammates couldn't be more excited.


BOSTON —  Die-hard Boston Celtics fans have to be feeling left out these days.


BOSTON - The Celtics don't play again until Friday, which means Brad Stevens has plenty of time to think about his now 4-8 team after Sunday's 94-88 loss to the Blazers.


When Courtney Lee signed a four-year, $21.35 million deal with the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2012, deep playoff runs and a chance to win an NBA title was his motivation.


A trio of close losses have been disappointing for the Boston Celtics, but their confidence remains relatively high all things considered.