The Boston Celtics have won a championship and been to the NBA Finals two times in the past three seasons, but Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith doesn’t seem to think toughness is the reason they got there. When Kevin Garnett is healthy, Boston has had one of the best defenses in the NBA since 2007, but according to Smith even the weak can accomplish that feat.
As you know, the Celtics defeated the Magic on Monday night thanks in large part to the return of K.G., who had a crucial steal late in the game. Again, Smith is not impressed. When the Orlando Sentinel asked the Magic GM if his team was tougher at this stage in the season than they were before, he said “tough is relative,” prompting the reporter to bring up the team that beat Orlando on Monday — the Celtics.
“They act tough,” Smith said. “They’re not really tough. They act tough.”
Interesting thoughts from a front office member whose team was dominated by Boston in the playoffs last season. Orlando handled the Green on Christmas Day, but the Celtics have generally gotten the best of them over the past three seasons when healthy. Maybe he doesn’t like Boston, but you can’t say they aren’t a tough team. You can disagree with some of Garnett’s antics and the way they go about their business, but you don’t accomplish what Boston has accomplished and play the kind of defense they’ve played over the past three-plus seasons without being tough.