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Celtics guard Marcus Smart’s hunting lion analogy is absolutely perfect

Celtics, Marcus Smart

The Boston Celtics are up 1-0 in the 2022 NBA Finals over the Golden State Warriors, a team making its sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight years. After stealing the first game on the road in stunning fashion, Marcus Smart is smelling blood and ready to go in for the kill.

Smart likened himself and the Celtics to a “lion out on the prowl hunting” as they try to knock off the Warriors to win a championship, per The Athletic’s Joe Vardon:

“I would probably describe it as a lion out on the prowl hunting,” Smart said. “They’re the hunted. We’re the hunters right now. So for me, I’m just out, I’m stealth, I’m waiting for my time to strike and my opportunity.”

The Celtics struck at just the right time in Game 1, turning a 15-point third-quarter deficit into a 12-point victory thanks to their big comeback. They went on a 17-0 run at one point, unable to miss offensively while totally shutting down the Warriors with their vicious defense.

Smart wasn’t even on the court for much of the fourth quarter, but he delivered a pair of dagger 3-pointers when he was. And, of course, as the Defensive Player of the Year he plays such a crucial role for Boston’s defense, which has reached a whole new level this season. Instead of having players who can be hunted on defense, the Celtics are doing all the hunting:

“There was always somebody on the court for us that we had to cover for,” Smart said. “Somebody would always pick on the guy that we had that we would always have to help, and it would put a strain on our defense.”

Boston finished with the best defense in the NBA in the regular season, and it has been even better in the playoffs. As long as this keeps up and the Celtics keep hunting, they will become NBA champions.