BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics guard Marcus Smart always seems to make a big play when it matters most.
As frustrating as he can be on offense, Smart is usually dynamic on the defensive end. He’s also shown a knack for coming through with the little things in big situations for Boston. He showed that on Sunday night in the C’s 112-108 win over the Miami Heat, bullying a trio of Heat players in the paint to pull down a key offensive rebound with just over a minute left and Boston clinching to a one-point lead. Smart managed to feed Isaiah Thomas with a beautiful bounce pass, and IT finished with a nifty layup to extend Boston’s lead.
It’s plays like those that have Celtics radio analyst saying Smart would be a favorite with a New England legend.
“[Bill] Belichick would love him,” Max said of Smart on Sunday night’s Sports Final on WBZ-TV. “Talk about ‘Doing Your Job,’ that’s what he does. He’s consistent defensively. People say he can’t make shots but he hits big shots, and on top of that he makes great defensive plays.
“I want that pit bull, the guy who would chew your leg off if you chained him up. He would chew your leg off and my leg off,” Max said of Smart’s toughness. “He understands the game. He’s the kind of guy who is a winner. When Brad Stevens was talking about him before, ‘the reason we picked Marcus is because he competes on every single play.'”
Max said that Smart might be a better defender than his former teammate Dennis Johnson: “He might be one of the best defenders the Celtics have ever had at that position.”
The Celtics have won four straight and eight of their last 10, just percentage points behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings. Max also touched on which players will have to step it up in the playoffs, a recent trend that could really hurt the C’s in the playoffs, and the incredible job that Brad Stevens has done this season. Watch the full clip in the video above and tune in to Sports Final every Sunday night on at 11:35 p.m. on WBZ-TV!