Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Doesn't Question Leaving Smart In
Wednesday, August 5 - Nets at Celtics
Pregame – Stevens Doesn't Question Leaving Smart In
BOSTON – The fact that Marcus Smart fouled out during the third quarter of Tuesday’s game didn’t cause Brad Stevens lose any sleep last night. He’s content with the decision to leave Smart in the game against Miami, as he pointed out Wednesday night.
“As you know, I leave guys in with fouls most often, because usually it winds up that rather than breaking a rhythm, they get a chance to stay in the game, keep a rhythm and don’t foul out,” Stevens said before Wednesday’s matchup with Brooklyn. “But that backfired yesterday. He’ll be fine today.”
Boston was struggling at the defensive end Tuesday night, which likely played a role in the coach’s decision to leave Smart, an All-Defensive First Team performer a season ago, in the game. Smart has the ability to light a fire under his teammates, even while saddled with foul trouble.
“One of the things that makes Marcus who he is, is he’s not going to stop playing just because he has fouls. He’s not going to back off just because he has fouls,” Stevens said. “And I like that.”
Another piece of this story’s puzzle is that it’s not as if Smart was disqualified from the game due to the commitment of a bonehead foul. He’s an intelligent defender who just got caught in a tough position.
“He wasn’t going to commit a silly one by any means,” the coach said. “But (Goran) Dragic jumped into him and got that sixth one, and that was just a good play by Dragic.”
Rest assured that if the same situation arises again tonight or in the future, Stevens won’t hesitate to leave his star defensive guard in the game.
“I trust Smart,” Stevens said. “He’s been through it a lot.”
- Marc D'Amico