Reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart highlighted the key to Boston Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's evolution this season. Smart said the star duo has been selfless this campaign, which has helped the Celtics be in the position they find themselves in.
Here's what the C's point guard told SiriusXM NBA Radio's Brian Scalabrine:
"I'll probably have to say I think everyone will agree with it, is the selflessness that they matured to having. You know, early on, as young guys, it's not just them, it's any young guys, you're trying to make a name for yourself, you're trying to prove what you got, and that doesn't always lineup to what the team is trying to do or helping a team."
For us, you know, it was understanding that if we win, everybody wins. And I think, this year, in particular more than note, we understood that we matured in that aspect."
Revisiting the time Marcus Smart called out Boston Celtics' star duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not involving their teammates
Marcus Smart played an instrumental role in helping Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown understand the importance of playing as a team. Back in November, when the team was hovering around the .500 mark during the regular season, Smart called out Tatum and Brown for not sharing the ball with teammates.
"Every team knows we're trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen," Smart said after the 128-114 loss to the Chicago Bulls (via ESPN). "Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody's scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball. They don't want to pass the ball."
It took the Boston Celtics a while to build their rhythm and have their two stars learn to involve their teammates. Once they succeeded in doing so, the Celtics went through a remarkable turnaround, finishing second in the Eastern Conference and then going on to reach the NBA Finals.
The Celtics arguably have the best squad depth in the NBA. It is one of the keys to their success in the playoffs this year. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have displayed their superstar potential, which has increased Boston's chances of being a top team for years to come.
The Boston Celtics have been phenomenal in the 2022 NBA Finals, giving the experienced Golden State Warriors team arguably their most competitive matchups. The series is tied up at 2-2, with Boston still very much in contention to go all the way to win a record 18th NBA title.