Why Marcus Smart Thinks He Should Be ‘In Running’ For NBA’s Defensive Player Of Year


May 12, 2020

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has had his 2019-20 campaign suspended, and thus his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy thrown out of wack.

Smart, named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first-team last season, has showcased the ability to defend some of the league’s most electric talents. He has shown the quickness to take on guards like James Harden, strength to take on forwards like LeBron James and even the tenacity which allows him to block opposing centers at the rim.

All told, Smart’s defensive prowess has attracted the attention of many, but it still came way short of the league’s highest honor last year. This year, with Smart propelling the Celtics to the league’s fourth-best defensive rating (106.8) and second-best in regards to points allowed per game (106.8), he thinks he’s earned a right to be among the favorites to take home the award.

?I think I should be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year ?cause who is more unique to guard all five positions than me?? Smart told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss in a story published Tuesday.

?The last guard to get it (DPOY) was Gary Payton. That?s without him guarding centers. I?m guarding guards and centers. So I think that?s a no brainer. Stretch six, there you go,” Smart said.

?My mission statement I would say is, first of all, no guard, or big, really, is guarding bigs the way I am,? Smart added. ?I?m undersized and I?m able to stop guys like (Kristaps) Porzingis, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love — big, big guys. Different types of players. Scorers and guys that aren?t really a threat to score, but are a powerhouse. Even though I have the ability to guard Steph Curry, LeBron (James), John Wall, James Harden, you don?t see bigs being able to guard big and then guard a guard.?

Hopefully, when it’s all said and done, Smart will be able to unseat two-time DPOY and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert in 2019-20.

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Thumbnail photo via Troy Wayrynen/USA TODAY Sports Images
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