BOSTON (CBS) — After a marathon four-day stretch in which he went from draft hopeful to NBA prospect, Marcus Smart finally got back on the court Tuesday morning.
Smart hit the floor as a member of the Boston Celtics for the first time, only he’ll have to wait for his first official NBA practice. Smart and some of Boston’s young talent took the court in Waltham Tuesday morning as they get ready for this weekend’s Orlando Summer League, which gets underway on Saturday.
For Smart, it was just nice to finally hit the hardwood again.
“These last couple of days have been a whirlwind. A lot of celebration, excitement and hype, and now it’s time to finally get back on the court and put the work in,” Smart said Tuesday. “It felt good to finally just focus on basketball and get back on the court.”
Smart played point guard for Boston as the team went through a heavy session of drills and play installation, but said he’ll play wherever coach Jay Larranaga wants him to when the games begin this weekend. The Celtics rookie said there wasn’t much different on Tuesday from his practices at Oklahoma State, just that he didn’t have to go to class afterwards.
And though he wasn’t a fan of those early 9 a.m. classes while in school, he didn’t even mind the early morning study session with his new team.
“I wouldn’t call it class. I love basketball, so it’s not as boring as going to class for me. It’s fun coming out here and learning things, doing what you love to do,” he said.
Smart is looking to improve all aspects of his game before making his NBA debut, but is focused on his jump shot this summer. He said the team didn’t talk to him about any of his shooting mechanics, just his shot selection.
“I had a lot of help [at Oklahoma State] but there were also times where I forced up a lot of shots,” said Smart, who shot 41 percent from the floor in his two collegiate seasons. “It’ll be different here; I won’t be forced to take a lot of tough shots.”
Smart said he’ll be putting plenty of work in leading up to summer league, and that he’ll be listening attentively to Boston’s veteran summer leaguers like Kelly Olynyk and Phil Pressey.
But one thing he can’t learn from others is energy and effort, and the C’s rookie displayed both of those from the get-go on Tuesday.
“Marcus is just a really enthusiastic team player,” said Larranaga. “He brought a lot of energy to this practice and we anticipate him bringing a lot of energy to every practice.”
“He’s got lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, works real hard,” said Olynyk. “His skill is definitely there for this level. I think it’s only going to keep getting better. He’s really eager to get in the gym all the time and I think he’s a guy with a great attitude, great energy, and definitely his hard work will pay off.”
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