Marcus Smart has quietly lived up to expectations since being drafted with the 6th overall pick by Boston.
Though he has shown some inexperience during the Playoffs (particularly him throwing up random 3’s just a few seconds into the possession), the overall feeling in Boston remains – Smart has real potential.
Unfortunately, his youth/inexperience was on full display again this morning.
While his team was busy beginning shoot-around and discussing how they were going to stave off elimination in Game 4 later today, Marcus was running late because he “overslept”.
Marcus Smart said he apologized to Boston Celtics teammates and coaches for arriving 15 minutes late to shootaround in preparation for an elimination game Sunday.
Though Smart was taken out of the starting lineup for Jae Crowder, head coach Brad Stevens said he decided on that switch before the guard’s tardiness. Stevens did indicate Smart could receive a punishment for his mistake.
“Marcus may not play early with (the second unit),” Stevens said before the game. “I don’t know what we’re going to do. I told him I’d share this with you (the media): Marcus was late to shootaround because he overslept. We’ve been there before. As I told Marcus, I’m not worried about him at all. This is not a big Marcus thing, and Jae Crowder would have started anyway. But we’ll see when Marcus’ opportunity comes.”
Explaining what happened, Smart said his alarm didn’t go off. By the time he checked the clock on his phone, it was time to be at shootaround.
“Coach is doing what he’s supposed to do,” the rookie said of any punishment. “It’s not acceptable, especially when you’ve got everybody here, and me being a rookie, for me to even play at all, it’s going to be a lot. I think Coach made the right decision. It was my fault. I went and apologized to the team and the coaching staff about it. I’ve gotta take the consequences like a man.”
Smart said it was his first time being late this season.
“But that doesn’t excuse it any better that I was late,” he said. When asked if he couldn’t sleep because of excitement for a big game, the 21-year-old replied, “Nah. That’s the thing. I stayed in, I went to bed on time. I don’t know. The alarm clock just didn’t go off. You know, it’s just one of those days where you wake up and it’s not your day.
Will there be any extra motivation because of the error?
“I’m going to play the way that I play,” Smart said. “I’m going to be motivated already just because we’re in the playoffs and it’s a game that we need. Any time I’m on the court, I’m going to play like it’s my last (game).”
So while Stevens claims Crowder was always going to start over the rookie today, this may lead to an even further diminished role for the developing point guard.
Smart said all of the right things to the media and coaches regarding the situation. He stayed in last night, the alarm clock simply didn’t go off, he apologized, and now he’s accepting the consequences like a man.
At this point Celts fans are hoping that this was just a fluke and it doesn’t become a habit. Marcus Smart could very well hold the key to their future.
Now, let’s see if Smart can do anything against the Cavs today to ensure that he has the chance to start at least once more this season.