Celtics’ Marcus Smart on Pistons: “When you got a team that played as hard as them, they can catch you slipping on a night.”

Key players Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Malcolm Brogdon are out Saturday night as the Boston Celtics face the Detroit Pistons in a back-to-back matchup. Without Robert Williams and Danilo Gallinari, Boston got by Grant Williams, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum as the Celtics won 117-108 to extend their winning streak to six games.

Marcus Smart was interviewed after a tough performance against a young Pistons team and was asked if a physical matchup is his game. “Yeah, of course it was,” Smart said, “it was messy, it was noisy and I try to, or at least try to, in those moments. Tonight was a good night, we were very short, but like I said before, we had a lot of guys. We had Payton Pritchard come in and give us great minutes, Luke Cornet, Sam Hauser Blake, you know what I’m saying? So it’s a great team effort, but these are the types of moments, these are the types of games, the type of games I’m going to try and I’ve got to put my foot down, so that’s what I did tonight.”

Smart has been sensational as a ball handler this stretch of the game since Boston, and he did it again against the Pistons with 10 assists on the night. Aside from a brutal alley-oop attempt on Jayson Tatum, Smart did a great job of taking care of possession. “

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You’ve got to behave yourself after that,” Smart said, laughing when asked about the snafu. “It’s a little tough because you’ve got Jayson Tatum screaming off the glass, and I think anybody in my shoes could have thrown it off the glass. . . . So the ball slipped out of his hands, that’s what happens. . But I think after that game, now it’s all about keeping it simple. You tried it, it didn’t work, that’s what we did.”

Smart continued and joked, “I was mad because I didn’t get my 10 assists because of that game, so it almost cost me. But we learned from it and like I said, I’ll say it again. If Jaylen or Jayson tells me to throw up, especially when we’re having fun. I didn’t do it late in the game, but early in the game, try to make them happen….Then you have to be tough and make up for it, and I think we did that.”

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Boston has struggled early with various injuries, but despite these setbacks, they are determined and hyper-focused on playing the right way. “That says a lot,” Smart said of the narrow victory. “We’ve always talked about our resilience and playing against a really good team physically, we can be resilient at the back. They are young and play hard until the end. “If you have a team that plays as hard as they do, they’re going to catch you at night.”

There is always room for improvement and growth for a young team like the Detroit Pistons, but their ability to push teams physically will continue to make them a handful for their opponents. For Boston, it was another example of the team’s ability to come together and win despite the circumstances. “To come out and understand and be professional,” the Celtics’ Smart said. “When it comes to back-to-backs … we’re playing a team that we destroyed at home a couple of nights ago, knowing they’re going to be hungry for a win on their home court and . To be able to finish the game without our starters, as you say, it shows how professional we are and how resilient this team is.

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As the wins continued to pile up, Boston’s offense became legitimate and its ability to move the ball worked wonders. “For us, we know and everybody in this league knows, Jaylen and Jason … those are our go-to guys,” Smart said. “They get their shots up, but being able to move the ball like we can, getting other people’s shots at the right time, it makes their job a lot easier and opens things up for them. and that’s what it does….when everybody’s hitting the ball, everybody’s happy, we’re having fun, and it’s fun. When we play like that, it’s fun because we realize the potential that we have and we realize that sometimes we go into modes where we don’t move like every night. But we have to find a way to win games and we did that tonight.”


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