Marcus Smart ensuring Celtics have great off-court bonds after chemistry issues from last year
Marcus Smart is hoping to ensure the Boston Celtics don’t repeat a miserable 2018-19 season. The defensive ace was outspoken about this issue then and he is outspoken about it now, hoping that the natural camaraderie between teammates is there from the jump.
“Last year, for us, what was really big was the chemistry,” Smart reflected after Saturday night’s win in New York, according to Taylor Snow of Celtics.com. “Some days we had it, some days we didn’t. So this year, I just wanted to make sure the chemistry was there, the bonds were there, and everybody was comfortable off the court with everybody. And I think the best way (to do that) is to be around each other as much as possible.”
Much has been said about Kyrie Irving’s poor leadership skills, his mood swings, and the constant up and downs the Celtics faced through a tumultuous season, yet a lot of the frustration was caused by Irving’s absence in the 2018 playoffs and how much players flourished during a deep postseason run that left them a game away from the NBA Finals.
Smart was among them, missing the first few games due to an injury and then taking over as a key spark plug to aid the Celtics to a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now with Kemba Walker at point guard, the Celtics are hoping his charisma allows for teammates to jell, no longer with any role envy, but the single steadfast pursuit of the same goal.