Celtics’ Marcus Smart on dustup with Joel Embiid: ‘Could have cracked his head open, but I didn’t’
At the outset of the season, when the Celtics were trying to make up ground in the standings, when they had lost five of six games and were looking at a second-round matchup with the 76ers, Marcus Smart, the rookie’s minutes were limited, at times. But after a month of being in the Celtics’ rotation, Smart has hit the 25-minute mark in five of his past six games, and has played on both ends of the floor when the Celtics have needed him most.
In his season debut, he scored 28 points — which is no small feat for a rookie — and made all nine of his shots, including five of six on opening night, and then followed that up with another 24-point performance on Wednesday against the Knicks. But that was followed by a three-point meltdown against the Sixers, where he went 6-of-25 and was held to a season-low three rebounds. He scored in double figures in seven of his past 10 games and has been a non-factor in the team’s first-round sweep of the Sixers.
“I was in the wrong situation,” Smart said after Wednesday’s loss. “I tried to play through the mistakes and not make the same mistakes again.
“That was my mistake, it was my fault. I need to know how do I get better in the situations I am in, because I am the only guy that can learn from there. I should have got better there.”
Smart said he was frustrated with himself that he wasn’t able to finish passes to Andre Drummond and Jaylen Brown all game. He said it’s a learning process for him and his teammates, and that every now and then, he has to pull his head out of his ass and take some “baby steps” that he’ll need to improve on his fundamentals and his efficiency when he plays defense.