By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart is frustrated.READ MORE: Amid Concerns Over Omicron COVID Variant, CDC Says All Vaccinated Adults Should Get Booster Shots
He’s frustrated by a “mixture of everything,” Smart told CSNNE’s Abby Chin following Monday night’s 112-104 win over the Miami Heat, ranging from his free throw shooting to officials who tend to blow their whistle whenever he’s involved in a play.
It’s easy to see why Smart was a bit flustered following Monday’s tilt, as he was a busy man, for better or worse, in the game’s final frame. The good: 10 points and a pair of assists to Kelly Olynyk to keep Miami’s early fourth quarter run at bay. The bad: a flagrant foul, a technical foul and four missed free throws in nine attempts.
Those missed freebies were the product of a “Hack-A-Smart” technique employed by Miami, intentionally fouling the guard down the stretch. A 55 percent shooter from the line this season, it’s something that could become the norm for Smart as the season continues. A career 71 percent shooter from the charity stripe, something appears a little off this season. Teams are taking note, though it should be noted that Smart is going to the line much less this season, attempting only 29 free throws after Monday night.
So as Goran Dragic applied a bear hug to Smart in hopes of sending him to the line, Smart’s frustration boiled over and he picked up his technical when he shoved the Heat guard away. That came just 50 seconds after Smart was assessed a Flagrant 1 for a hard hit on Miami big man Hassan Whiteside.
Despite the win and despite a solid showing with 12 points and four assists over his 33 minutes off the bench, Smart was clearly still a bit miffed after the game.READ MORE: Jake DeBrusk Requests Trade From Bruins
“I don’t know. I just know they’re fouling, and I get called for technicals and everything, and I’m just looking around like what am I doing?” Smart told Chin. “I’m not saying anything to the officials. But we’re out here playing and it’s just hard, I’m not making free throws when I usually make them, so it’s just a mixture of everything.”
Smart’s reputation may be catching up to him. His tendency to hit the floor rather easily still gets offensive foul calls, but he’s also being punished at times on the other end of the floor. He plays hard no matter the circumstance on the floor, and that can sometimes lead to his emotions getting the best of him. It fed into his frustration during Monday’s win, a victory that he was an important part of with some dynamic defense as the Celtics held off a potential Miami run in the fourth quarter.
While he may be frustrated with the final eight minutes or so in Miami, Smart wasn’t the only one. The Heat themselves were not big fans of Marcus or his style by the end of the night, a sentiment that nearly anyone going against Marcus Smart feels after going toe-to-toe with the feisty and energetic guard for 30+ minutes.
But he isn’t going to change his approach — the good or the bad. It’s who he is, and it’s who the Celtics need him to be.
“I just play my game,” said Smart. “I can’t control how they feel or what’s going on with their side. I just control what I do.”
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