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Celtics’ Marcus Smart responds to Clippers’ Patrick Beverley: ‘He’s gotta step his game up a little bit more’

Marcus Smart, Patrick Beverley

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart promptly responded to Los Angeles Clippers defensive ace Patrick Beverley’s scoffing when asked how he felt to have another player who could match his intensity.

Beverley said “that’s funny” when asked about the comparison, and Smart was quick to bark back after hearing about Beverley’s comments:

“You put me up against Pat, I think you know who’ll win that battle,” said Smart on Friday, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

“You gotta respect a guy that goes out there and plays every night, fearlessly, and he stands down to nobody. The respect factor is there, but at the same time — I’m on another level. I feel like when it comes to me, if you have to choose (between) me and Pat, I can get that. Then, no offense to Pat, but he’s gotta step his game up a little bit more and we’ll see.”

The 6-foot-4 Smart has three inches and at least 30 pounds on the smaller Beverley, who has been known to be a pest on the court. Both players are willing to take on all comers and play with a chip on their shoulder night in and night out.

The two players haven’t had much bad blood during their time in the league, but both are the kind of proud individuals who consider themselves in a league of their own.

Comparing their accolades head-to-head, Beverley has one All-Defensive First Team mention (2013-14) and one for the Second Team (2016-17), while Smart only recently got the nod for the All-Defensive First Team last season.

The two are hard-nosed competitors and an offensive player’s worst nightmare, as they are often due for a hard day’s work. Thus far, Pat Beverley has the bragging rights after his Clippers beat the Celtics 107-104 in overtime, but that could change once the two teams meet again in Boston on Feb. 13.