Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… Marcus Smart is, and has been for a while, the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics. Last night with Kemba, Hayward and Theis out, he willed this team to a win.
Marcus shot 7-12 from the field and finished with 17 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 5 steals and a block . On a night where the C’s two main ball handlers/distributors were out, they desperately needed someone to run the offense and boy did Smart step up. From no look passes to taking his man off the dribble to the cup, he truly did it all last night. His defense, as always was impeccable. He caused two 24-second violations and at one point was manned-up against the Kings’ center and had him absolutely locked down. I mean, who else in this league can not only guard 1 through 5 but can actually lock them up? Not many. For some reason, Marcus doesn’t get the recognition he deserves nationally but here in Boston we know what he brings to the floor every night and we love him for it.
With under a minute to go in a tie game, he took his man off a pick and roll and hit a fade-away to put the C’s up 2. A couple of possessions later, he put his head down and went to the cup with a beautiful spin and lay in to again give the Celts the lead. On the ensuring Sacramento possession, he stole the ball and drew the foul which resulted in a side out.
He always brings the intensity on defense but last night he brought efficient offense to the dance and in that 4th quarter willed his undermanned team to a win. How lucky we are to get to watch this guy play his heart out every night.