Morning Sports Update

‘They know that he’s going to be a problem’: Kendrick Perkins discussed Marcus Smart’s role vs. Warriors

"You know what that tells me? That Marcus Smart is living rent-free in the Warriors organization's head."

Marcus Smart
Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart walks away with Daniel Theis and Grant Williams after having a word with a referee. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Red Sox lost to the Orioles 10-0 on Sunday after a disastrous start from Rich Hill. Boston will host the Reds at Fenway Park this evening at 7:10 p.m.

On Thursday, the NBA Finals get underway with the Celtics traveling to face the Warriors for Game 1 at 9 p.m.

Kendrick Perkins discussing Marcus Smart’s role: With the Celtics-Warriors matchup set in the NBA Finals, the analysis and predictions have begun.

One former Celtic thinks he knows who the biggest difference-maker can be for Boston.

During a Tuesday segment for “Get Up!” on ESPN, ex-Celtic Kendrick Perkins explained why he thinks Marcus Smart guarding Stephen Curry will be the “most important matchup of the finals.”

Advertisement:

“Marcus Smart is the biggest X-factor,” said Perkins. “Let’s not overthink this. We see the clips running, we see Marcus Smart drawing offensive fouls and Stephen Curry because he’s top-locking, we hear Steve Kerr talking about Marcus Smart.

“You know what that tells me? That Marcus Smart is living rent-free in the Warriors organization’s head,” Perkins continued, “and that he’s a topic of discussion in that film room this morning. They know that he’s going to be a problem.”

Perkins reminded his fellow ESPN panelists that Smart is the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and that his ability to overcome in-game problems on the fly could be of profound importance to the Celtics.

“Yes you can go out there and put together a game-plan, but at the end of the day, the game is won between those lines,” Perkins explained. “When you have a versatile defender like Marcus Smart, with a high IQ, guess what? He can solve all those problems with his pin-downs, pick-and-rolls, whatever the actions are, that guy is a problem.”

Smart played through a right ankle sprain in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat. His injury status will be one of several crucial factors heading into the series against Golden State.

Advertisement:

Trivia: After Marcus Smart, who on the current Celtics roster has played the most games for the team?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was drafted one spot behind Brandon Ingram.

More from Boston.com:

David Pastrnak asked David Krejci if he was coming back to Boston: Krejci offered only a smile in return.

Jaylen Brown and Al Horford’s Game 7 press conference:

On this day: In 1984, the Celtics were saved from what looked like a 2-0 NBA Finals series deficit against the Lakers by a clutch steal and score from Gerald Henderson.

Trailing by two late in the fourth quarter, Boston needed to force the isusse. All Los Angeles needed was to not turn the ball over, but that’s exactly what James Worthy did with his attempted cross-court pass to Byron Scott. Henderson swooped in, scored the game-tying bucket, and the Celtics went on to a 124-121 victory in overtime (eventually winning the series).

Daily highlight: Carlos Alcaraz defeated Karen Khachanov at the French Open on Sunday thanks in part to absurd shots like this one to improbably win the point.

Trivia answer: Jaylen Brown

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com