Marcus Smart on the 2019-20 Celtics: ‘We like being the underdog’

“A lot of people have us counted out."

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart moves the ball against the Orlando Magic during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Marcus Smart moves the ball against the Orlando Magic during the second half. –(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Much has been said about the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford from the Celtics this summer. With lingering questions about how the team will look this season, guard Marcus Smart remains confident despite being labeled underdogs. 

“A lot of people have us counted out,” Smart said during The Atheltic’s “Tampering” podcast. “We use that as motivation. We like it, we like being the underdog. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain and we are going to use that to our advantage.” 

It isn’t just the underdog mentality that Smart believes will give the team an edge. He thinks that the bonding between the four Celtics players representing Team USA during the FIBA World Cup this summer is also going to be a key to their success. 

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“It [playing in the World Cup] only helped us, even more, coming back so when we finally get with these new guys, these young guys, our chemistry is already there,” Smart said. “That way we’re not trying to get the whole chemistry of the team, it’s just a few guys we have to put in certain places to fill that void.”

Smart isn’t even concerned about the new “super teams” being built throughout the NBA. 

“If guys want to team up to make super teams or guys want to team up with their best friend or favorite player that’s all fine and dandy to me, I’m still going out there to play,” Smart said. “Anything can go when you step on that court.” 

Boston finished the preseason with a perfect 4-0 record.  The Celtics open their regular season on Wednesday, October 23, in Philadelphia against the 76ers.