Marcus Smart has been a big part of the Celtics defense, and it’s clear Boston is missing its feisty guard as of late.
Sure, Smart wouldn’t fix all of Boston’s problems, but he certainly would help.
Head coach Brad Stevens spoke after the Celtics’ 127-112 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, and was asked how Smart’s absence has been impacting Boston over the last stretch.
“Well, number one it’s two-fold,” Stevens told reporters. “… This should not be taken out of context as making an excuse. We should play better than we have. What he brings to the table was obvious on both ends of the court, that’s statistically backed up, just anybody that watches basketball, knows basketball, knows that. Second part is, it makes it so that your rotations — you always have two of those guys in the game. … It’s something that’s been hurtful. But it’s still no excuse for not finding a way to win the New Orleans game, no excuse for not being a couple possessions better (Tuesday). And we may have gotten beat tonight anyways because sometimes you get hit with a flurry of haymakers in the NBA like these guys did to us tonight. But we could have been in a better position had we played better.”
The game against the Pelicans, of course, is when Boston blew a 24-point lead.
At the end of the day, the Celtics need to find ways to win games. Smart will be welcomed warmly back to the lineup, yes, but he’s not the answer as to why the C’s have been downright bad the last month.