When the NBA released its awards finalists Saturday, the Celtics were one of the few contending teams to not have any players or their head coach on any of the lists.
NBA Awards finalists, per the league: pic.twitter.com/ezbWTpDFnK
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) August 8, 2020
The main list that many Celtics fans took umbrage with was Defensive Player of the Year, which featured elite stoppers Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, and Rudy Gobert as the top three and didn’t include Marcus Smart. There are lots of varying opinions on whether Smart should be a finalist, but one person has made his stance very clear.
Smart’s teammate, Jaylen Brown, took to Twitter to explain that he believes Smart should be right there.
“Marcus Smart the best defender in the NBA night in night out,” Brown wrote.
Marcus Smart the best defender in the NBA night in night out
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) August 8, 2020
The Celtics’ Twitter account chimed in as well, expressing disappointment that Smart wasn’t a finalist.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 8, 2020
While Smart’s contributions to the Celtics are undeniable, the odds aren’t in his favor from a positional standpoint. The last time a guard earned Defensive Player of the Year honors was 1996, when Gary Payton took home the award.
Smart was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career a season ago. He’s currently ninth in the NBA in steals this year and should be in the mix for that same recognition in 2020.
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