Why Marcus Smart’s Impressive Defensive Performance Almost Didn’t Happen

Smart was dealing with migraines and stomach issues


October 26, 2021

Marcus Smart was essential to Boston’s wild win Monday night, but he almost couldn’t play.

The Celtics traveled to Charlotte to take on the Hornets in the second night of their first back-to-back of the season but almost were without the services of their starting point guard who woke up Monday morning not feeling his best.

“This morning I woke up and threw up and everything. My head was killing me so bad and my body just weak. My vision was a little blurry and just that my whole head was just really still spinning and stomach still upset,” Smart said to reporters postgame via Zoom. “And then literally right before the game I told them after warmups ‘just be ready if I tell you I can’t go…’ I decided to go and decided to fight through it and glad I could go out there and help my team win.”

Smart, who is vaccinated for COVID-19 gave no indication his stomach bug was COVID-related, and offered insight into his decision to fight through illness in Boston’s 140-29 win over the Hornets.

“Just pure will and determination. When I was younger I always used to be told if you’re going to get out there and play, you can’t make excuses you’ve got to go out there and do it,” Smart said. “So I chose to play instead of sitting out. It wasn’t pretty, but not every game is going to be pretty. You’ve got to go find a way.”

Smart now has a little time to get better as the Celtics take the court again Wednesday at TD Garden against the Washington Wizards at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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