Brad Stevens Defends Marcus Smart After Diving Play That Injured Steph Curry

'I thought, from my own vantage point, Marcus was making a play for the ball'

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March 17, 2022

Brad Stevens has Marcus Smart’s back.

The Celtics guard drew the ire of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Wednesday night when he dove for a loose ball and injured Steph Curry in the first half of Boston’s 110-88 win over Golden State.

Curry will be sidelined indefinitely, but Golden State is optimistic he will return for the playoffs. Kerr, understandably, wasn’t happy with the play. But Stevens defended Smart during his appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” on Thursday morning.

“First of all, when it happened live, I didn’t see anything but Marcus diving for a ball that was on the ground and then losing it, coming back up with it and (Jayson) Tatum losing it,” the Celtics president of basketball operations said, as transcribed by MassLive’s Brian Robb. “I was also trying to figure out how the heck Marcus got off the floor and got back into the play to foul (Klay) Thompson.

“When I watched it, I thought it was a loose ball, he dove on the loose ball. It’s unfortunate Steph was there and his ankle got rolled. I’m encouraged to hear (Wednesday) night that he was questionable to come back before halftime. Hopefully, it’s a really short-term thing for them. I thought, from my own vantage point, Marcus was making a play for the ball.”

That’s certainly a different perspective than Kerr believing it was a “dangerous play.”

The Celtics and Warriors don’t meet again this regular season.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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