BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart is still on a minutes restriction as he eases his way back from a knee injury, but he’s making the most out of his minutes on the floor.
That always seems to be the case with Smart, who taught Brooklyn Nets guard Donald Sloan that one should always be ready for the second-year guard to do something out of the ordinary.
Sloan tried to save some clock in the third quarter of Monday night’s Celtics-Nets tilt in Brooklyn, letting an inbound slowly roll past midcourt as the Nets set their offense — a move known as “walking the dog.”
As Sloan learned Monday, don’t walk the dog around Smart. Standing a few feet away from the incredulous Nets guard, Smart pounced on the ball from center-court. He appeared to come away with the ball cleanly and was looking to dish it off before Sloan wrapped him up, but the referee ended up blowing the whistle and calling for a jump ball.
CSNNE’s play-by-play man Mike Gorman likened the move to a cobra:
The Nets ended up winning the jump and scoring on the possession thanks to a pair of offensive rebounds, but Smart’s play was the kind of energy the Celtics needed in the game losing back-to-back contests — at home — the the lowly Lakers and Nets. The whole team had been playing with a renewed sense of urgency from the opening tip, and Smart helped keep that going in the third.
Smart finished the evening with seven points on 3-for-7 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists in his 24 minutes on the floor. He capped his night off with a beautiful up-and-under layup with a minute to go to give Boston a 100-91 lead. The Celtics snapped their two-game skid with a 103-94 victory.
He’s still limited as he comes back from the knee injury that sidelined him for 18 games, but Smart seems to always make intelligent plays that help Boston win.