Marcus Smart Wins NBA Award Amid Celtics’ 2023 Playoff Run

Smart is no stranger to this award


May 4, 2023

The Celtics locker room is starting to fill up with individual honors while Boston fights for the NBA’s most coveted hardware.

Exactly two weeks after Malcolm Brogdon earned the Sixth Man of the Year title for the 2022-23 season, Marcus Smart was named the recipient of the league’s Hustle Award. It marks a back-to-back triumph for Smart, who also claimed the honor for the 2018-19 campaign. The Hustle Award debuted in the 2016-17 season, so the Celtics’ longest-tenured player is responsible for nearly half of the wins to date.

“The NBA Hustle Award rewards players that make the effort plays that don’t often appear in the traditional box score but impact winning on a nightly basis,” an NBA statement released Thursday afternoon read. “Hustle stats — including deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn, screen assists, contested shots and box-outs — have been tracked by the NBA since the 2016 postseason.”

Smart edged out the ever-competitive Draymond Green to win the award for the second straight season. Smart’s former Celtics teammate, Aaron Nesmith, finished third, while Mitchell Robinson and Herbert Jones rounded out the top five, respectively.

Of course, Smart’s eyes are on a far more prestigious honor. The 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and his team will try to take another step toward an NBA championship Friday when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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