Marcus Smart Approves Of Luke Kornet’s Bizarre Defensive Strategy

'It's a solid tactic, so it works'


Oct 31, 2022

Luke Kornet has started to carve out a role for himself in the Boston Celtics rotation, and the center has made his impact known.

Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla appears to be experimenting with his back-up center rotation with Noah Vonleh and Kornet being used to help give Al Horford a break. The latter has started to receive more minutes — 19 and 26 — in the past two games, and the 27-year-old even made his first 3-pointer on his only attempt Sunday, making him 1-for-2 on the season.

But Kornet’s impact will be needed on the defensive end as the Celtics have struggled with rebounding, ranking 28th in rebounds per game. However, the sixth-year center went viral when playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday where he was seen contesting 3-point shots from the paint.

You can see the video of Kornet doing so below:

It’s not the first time Kornet has implemented this strategy, but it’s still an odd sight to see. Despite that, his teammates don’t have any problem with Kornet’s tactic.

“That’s something he is good at and watched a lot of film, and I think it’s a good way to contest without getting into a close-out,” Marcus Smart said, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. “It’s a solid tactic, so it works.”

Of course, context matters, slightly. Isaac Okoro was the one shooting the 3-pointers in the clip, and the Cavaliers guard has yet to make a 3-pointer in six games this season, and he is a career 30.7% shooter from behind the arc on 2.7 attempts per game. Basically, Okoro is not exactly a volume shooter, and it’s maybe why Kornet noted how and when he contests shots from the paint.

“Came about it pretty organically,” Kornet said. “I’ve been told it makes a difference. In the amount of times I’ve used it, it seems to make a difference. If the numbers start indicating otherwise, I’ll adjust. But as long as it seems to be effective, especially with certain types of shooters, and things like that.”

So, maybe don’t expect Kornet to contest Steph Curry’s 3-point shots when the Celtics play the Golden State Warriors, unless it actually works.

Thumbnail photo via Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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