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#pounditTuesday, February 20, 2024

Marcus Smart has complaint about Defensive Player of the Year award

Marcus Smart warming up

Marcus Smart is known for being a pest on defense and has made the All-Defense team twice in his career. But he’s never gotten serious consideration for Defensive Player of the Year, and he thinks he knows why.

Smart helped his Boston Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons 114-103 on Friday night. Detroit only shot 42.2 percent from the field in the game.

Smart lamented after the game that guards like him don’t get serious consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year.

Smart isn’t wrong about the tendency of the award to big men. The last true guard to win the award was Gary Payton in 1995-1996. Otherwise it’s been multiple big men who steal the crown, like Rudy Gobert recently, or Dwight Howard, Ben Wallace, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo before that.

Smart also complained that the award is a popularity contest.

The Celtics are among the best defensive teams in the league in points allowed, field goal percentage allowed and blocks. Smart thinks the awards voters are sleeping on him and center Robert Williams III. Maybe they are, as Boston is rolling and now 41-27.

Photo: Aug 4, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) warms up before the first half of a NBA basketball game at the Visa Athletic Center in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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