BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA on Wednesday announced its All-Defensive Teams, and Celtics forward Al Horford earned a spot on the Second Team — the first such honor of his career.
Noticeably absent on the list of both the First and Second Teams was the player considered by many to be the best defensive player on the Celtics roster: Marcus Smart. And though Smart was extremely happy late Wednesday night after his team beat the Cavaliers 96-83 to take a 3-2 series lead, the fourth-year guard expressed a bit of discontent toward the voters.
After speaking with the media, Smart closed his chat by saying, “And that’s coming from a not top-five defender in the league. Just putting that out there.”
The voters, by the way, are media members.
For the Celtics, such a snub is probably preferable. Anything that helps motivate Smart to be better is always a plus. But for Smart, who will be seeking a few dollars as a restricted free agent in the offseason, such an accolade might have helped in that regard.
But on a night when the Celtics held the Cavaliers to just 83 points, forced 15 turnovers, held three members of Cleveland’s starting five to single-digit point totals, and prevented the Cavaliers from ever making the game close, individual defensive recognition probably was not a chief concern of anyone in the Boston locker room.
Smart, though, a tenacious worker on nearly every defensive possession, was within his rights to “put that out there.” Soon enough, if things fall in place for Smart and the Celtics, he may get the chance to “put that out there” by defending the Warriors in the NBA Finals.