Smart Urges C’s to ‘Keep Searching for that Light’ Amid Struggles

Producing consistent energy on the court has been an issue for the Boston Celtics this season, which has led them on a roller-coaster journey to a 20-20 record thus far. But the source of that problem may be stemming from individual challenges off the court during uncertain times, as Marcus Smart suggested Friday afternoon.

“I think a lot of people including fans, media, and just everybody forgets that we’re humans,” he said following his team’s shootaround ahead of a home matchup against the Sacramento Kings. “A lot of things have happened in our lives, personally, individually, where it's hard to come in here and give that energy to somebody else when in your own individual personal life, energy has been drained or you don't really have it.”

These off-court challenges could range from the plethora of injuries and illness that many Celtics have dealt with, to the stress of playing amidst a pandemic and all of the routine changes that have come with it.

Of course, the Celtics aren’t the only team dealing with such dilemmas during this mentally and physically exhausting anomaly of a season, and they also aren’t the only team experiencing inconsistency.

As such, Smart doesn’t believe any of those issues should excuse their shortcomings. Instead, the veteran point guard is urging his teammates to rally around one another when they are going through such struggles and to lift each other’s spirits as brothers would do.

“We’ve got to be able to help one another,” Smart said. “We’ve got to find a way. Right now, we’re kind of blind, but we’re searching for that light. We’ve got to keep searching. We can’t give up. Because I know there’s a lot of people out there that’s already counting us out. I know there’s a lot of people out there that’s ready to give up on us, which is fine, it’s cool. We’re all we got, so we’re the ones that have to deal with the consequences. We’re the ones that have to deal with it, so we have to figure it out and bring that energy for one another.”

At times, it has looked as though the Celtics have figured out how to bring out the best of each other. For example, they seemed to have turned a corner following a difficult stretch in February by winning four straight games against quality opponents heading into the All-Star break.

However, since the break, Boston has lost three out of four matchups, including a particularly discouraging loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night.

As a result, the C’s are searching for answers yet again, and time is now becoming a factor as they head into the backstretch of the season. However, Smart has faith in this group's ability to pull itself together before the playoffs, and his opinion on the matter should be held in the highest regard given his status as the longest-tenured member of the team.

“It's not gonna be easy. Our window is definitely closing,” he said. “But if anybody can do it, this group of guys, myself included, we can. We just got to figure it out, and I think we will.”

Figuring it out depends largely on the Celtics’ ability to develop consistent energy, and they will need to rally around and uplift each other in order to do so.

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