Smart Says C’s are ‘As Close as Ever’ After Emotional Game 3 Response

“Before you see the rainbow, it has to storm.”

Those were the wise words of Celtics guard and team meteorologist Marcus Smart Monday afternoon, as he looked back on Boston’s rocky start to the Eastern Conference Finals last week and how his team has since responded.

The Celtics opened up the series with two straight losses to the Miami Heat, both of which Miami achieved via double-digit comeback efforts during the second half. The frustrating nature of the defeats caused a thunderstorm of emotion to brew inside the locker room after Game 2. However, the lightning that struck among the players that night was exactly the type of spark that was needed in order to bring the Celtics closer together so that they could refocus and respond with a Game 3 win Saturday night.

Smart fittingly described the postgame locker room scene following Game 2 as “electrifying.”

“Of course emotions are going to fly, but we’re a family and it happens,” the veteran guard added.

Sometimes it’s necessary for emotions to fly among teammates, and this was one such occasion.

“I would have been more worried after that Game 2 loss if everyone was calm, cool, and collected. That would have been a problem,” said Smart. “I hate losing more than I love winning. I play with a lot of people who feel the same way, so for us to be able to express that, to get it out, and to build that type of energy for ourselves, because there aren’t as many fans here. We have our families here, but for the most part they just sit over there, cheer, and it’s a different feel. You have to bring a different type of energy for yourself and your teammates. So for us to be able to find that fuel to get us back on the right track was something important.”

Boston got back on the right track by coming out Saturday night in attack mode. The C’s led from start to finish in Game 3, as they out-scored Miami 60-36 inside the paint en route to a 117-106 win.

More importantly, the win displayed how together this Celtics team is despite the media’s concerns about the post-game exchanges that took place inside their locker room after Game 2.

“It shows that we are as close as ever,” Smart said of the way in which he and his teammates responded. “Even though we go through adversity, we still are a family and we are going to need to have moments like that where we go through adversity, we say what we have to say, we all come together and get our emotions out, and we go take it out on the other team.”

Not only did going through such adversity create a spark for the Celtics, but Smart believes it was also a maturing moment for himself and his teammates.

“I knew what type of guys we were, I knew the type of team we had,” Smart said. “I knew we were emotional, I knew we were passionate and I knew we loved each other. I learned, not just myself, but a lot of my teammates grew up even more through that adversity. I've always said, 'Before you see the rainbow, it has to storm.' For us, that was a storm that we had to go through.”

Now that the Celtics have made it through the storm, they can keep chasing the rainbow.

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