If someone were to ask you who is the best player on the Boston Celtics, superstar point guard Kyrie Irving is probably the first name that comes to your mind. If someone asked you who is the most important player on the Celtics, backup guard Marcus Smart would easily be the name you think of.

Smart signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Celtics in July. It wasn’t a smooth process for the rugged defender, as Smart and his camp didn’t hear from Boston for quite a while after free agency started on July 1, but everything worked out in the end.

Last season, Smart averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists, a stat line that doesn’t jump off the page and one which won’t garner any All-Star consideration. So, why is Marcus Smart so valuable to the Celtics?

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“He just embodies the Boston narrative,” teammate Jaylen Brown told Jay King of The Athletic. “He’ll fight to the end.”

Marcus Smart underwent surgery last season in March for a torn ligament in his right thumb. The first game he played after the injury, Smart was diving all over the floor for loose balls, putting his body and hand on the line like he has done throughout his basketball career.

It’s why Smart’s teammates and the fans in Boston love him so much. They don’t care that he only shoots 29.1 percent from beyond the arc for his career. They know when the ball goes up, Smart is going to give you everything he has and will fight for his teammates until the game ends. Every championship caliber team needs a glue guy like that.