Two days after Marcus Smart won Defensive Player of the Year, it was actually an offensive game by the Celtics’ point guard that helped secure Game 2’s win over the Nets.
With just over a minute left and the Celtics running eight, Smart picked up a pass at the top of the key as Boston couldn’t take an open look at the key possession straight away. As the shot clock approached, Smart drove into the lane, dodging past Kyrie Irving. Two Nets defenders turned to help rival Smart’s shot just before the shot clock was up. Smart, who shot with his right hand, rose to the left-handed runner, who was able to give Boston a 10-point lead.With Brooklyn called for the timeout immediately after the play, Smart slowly returned to the Boston bench, pointing and speaking to his left hand. His teammate Jaylen Brown joined him, staring at his hand in awe for a few moments before cracking a smile.
The moment immediately spread as the Celtics took the win in Game 2. Before Game 3, Smart shared what he had said with his hand at that moment.
“Yes JB and I always talk about who has a better left hand. We always talk about it,” Smart said.
“But nah, it was just a great play. It goes back to our growth. [Jayson Tatum] He drove the ball, he could have shot. I was expecting him to shoot her [instead of passing it to me]. Two seconds, three seconds left on [shot] On the clock, six feet from the basket, they’re short defenders. He makes it play for me. I do this play with this left hand, especially then [I hurt] My thumb and everything.
“It was an incredible play. JB, keep getting over it and prolonging that little celebration. I was just saying to my left hand ‘You’re a bad guy.’ And JB came and agreed with me.”Smart had actually struggled with shooting up until that point in the game, moving 2 vs. 8 off the field before that shot, his last in the game. It was reserve point guard Payton Pritchard who stepped up, at least in terms of scoring, in Smart’s place. He scored eight points in the fourth quarter and has a total of 10 in game two.
Now, the Celtics must pass their first two impressive wins in Boston as the series heads to Brooklyn, where the Celtics will likely finish the Nets or go home for Game 5 with the series tied.
Subscribe for Celtics Updates🏀
Get breaking news and analysis in your inbox during basketball season.