Marcus Smart feels disrespected that he is not considered elite defender
Marcus Smart is not one of the first names to come to mind when discussing the Boston Celtics’ surprise playoff run, but he thinks it’s time he got his due.
In an interview with Michael Pina of VICE Sports that ran on Thursday, the Celtics guard said he feels disrespected that he is not seen as an elite defender.
“I’ve been a great defender my whole life,” he said. “It’s kind of embarrassing when I see or hear people and I’m not even mentioned in any defensive teams or discussions or anything like that. It’s a slap across the face.
“I get it. It’s about popularity,” Smart added. “You tell me who in the league is a better defender than I am, especially on the perimeter. There’s not many guys. Guys in this league know the type of defender I am, and they know when you go up against me you’ve gotta bring it because I’m gonna bring mine.”
The 24-year-old Smart is indeed one of the more underrated players in the league — his hustle and versatile, physical defense help form a crucial part of the Celtics’ zeitgeist. But as he hinted, Smart has yet to make an All-Defensive team in his four NBA seasons, and he is largely slept on outside of Boston.
Regardless, the former lottery pick is proving his worth in more ways than one this postseason, and helping lead the Celtics to a Finals berth would sure be one a heck of a way for Smart to finally earn some respect around these parts.