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Celtics star Marcus Smart reveals secret on what it takes to be a great defender

Celtics, Stephen Curry, Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart winning this season’s Defensive Player of the Year title is no fluke. The Boston Celtics star is, without a doubt, one of the top defenders in the NBA today. He worked extremely hard to get to where he is right now, and he has some advice for anyone who wants to take on the same path he did.

Speaking ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Smart opened up about the mentality one has to possess in order to be an elite defender in the NBA:

“Mentality is you gotta keep going,” said the Celtics guard, via NBA on Twitter. “You can’t never give up. You can’t take breaks. You gotta push yourself to the limit. You’re playing against some of the greatest players. You have to have a hot motor. You gotta keep it going.”

Smart then went on to share the mantra he’s been living on throughout his career. Clearly, this has brought the Celtics star to new heights:

“For me, I’m just telling myself constantly like, ‘No matter how hurt you are, no matter how tired you are, you gotta keep going.’ That’s the mentality you have to have to be a really good defender, let alone a great one,” Smart said.

The Celtics will need every bit of Marcus Smarts’ defensive prowess — and then some — in order to beat the mighty Warriors in the Finals. This has now become a best-of-3 series and Smart and Co. will face their toughest test in this series to date when they take on the Dubs on their own home court in Game 5.