Marcus Smart says Celtics playing with more swagger
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was encouraged by his team’s progression after a lackluster start to the regular season, winning three straight games and four of their last five since getting off to a mediocre 9-9 start to the 2018-19 campaign.
“Everybody is playing with a little bit more attitude, a little more swagger. Like I said we were missing that,” said Smart, according to Chris Grenham of Celtics Blog. “I think we’re getting our swagger back.”
Smart credited himself and power forward Marcus Morris as the team’s energizer bunnies — a fair assessment, given their innate ability to jumpstart a team after a lull in the game.
The Oklahoma State product has thrived since being inserted into the starting lineup for a dose of hard-nosed hustle and an air of nastiness that this roster so badly needed in hopes to compete with some of the Eastern Conference powers.
Despite sitting at 13-10, the Celtics are in sixth place in the East, still well-behind the NBA-leading Toronto Raptors (20-5), the Milwaukee Bucks (15-7) and the Philadelphia 76ers (17-8), who have gotten off to strong starts early on.
The season is long and the Celtics will get their chance to catch up, but they must first regain their identity as a defensive team and put together a cohesive offense in time to challenge for the top seeds in the East.
Boston has a relatively easy week ahead, only playing two games — one on Thursday against the New York Knicks and another on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls — a pair that can push the win streak to a season-high five in a row.