Marcus Smart can’t help the Boston Celtics on the court right now, but he’s doing his best to remain accountable off it.

The Celtics guard, who’s been sidelined since Jan. 24 after injuring his hand in a losing battle with a picture frame, took part of the blame for Boston’s recent rough patch in his second public comments since the incident.

“I’ve been on myself pretty bad,” Smart told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett on Wednesday night, “especially when I have to just sit back there and watch those guys struggle, and there’s nothing I can do. But we’ve got the break coming up. We’ve got to come back and be ready.”

The Celtics have lost four of their last five games without Smart heading into the NBA All-Star break and particularly have struggled on defense, an area where the 23-year-old thrives. After watching the C’s give up 250 points combined in their last two contests, Bulpett asked Smart if his absence is directly tied to the team’s defensive shortcomings.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. But, you know, I don’t think so,” Smart said. “We’re a really good team. We’ve just had a couple of mental lapses. These guys are great defenders, and once they put their mind to it, they can play. It just wasn’t there.”

Smart wasn’t completely diplomatic in his assessment of the club, though. In fact, his explanation for why the Celtics have stumbled recently was quite frank.

“Effort,” Smart said. “Other teams want it more than us right now. I think we got a little complacent, and we’ve just got to realize, especially going into the last part of the season, that teams are gunning for us. We’ve been a hot team, and we’ve got to come and bring it every game.”

Of course, actions speak louder than words, and the C’s are hoping Smart can return after the All-Star break to restore an edge that’s been glaringly absent over the last two weeks.

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Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images