The Boston Celtics came so close to winning the franchise’s 18th title in the 2022 NBA Finals and even led the series 2-1, but Golden State Warriors franchise icon Stephen Curry dropped 43 points in a soul-crushing Game 4 defeat which the Celtics couldn’t really recover from, eventually losing in six games. And it was Marcus Smart’s duty, especially as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, to try and keep Curry as quiet as possible, which is why he’s find it especially hard to move on from the missed opportunity.
According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Marcus Smart has had difficulties sleeping and yet his waking moments remain haunted by the moments he wish he could go back in time and replay.
“I catch myself sleeping sometimes, and then I wake up and the light’s hitting. Then there’s some days that I can’t sleep and I’m on YouTube watching everything (from the NBA Finals),” Smart told The Athletic. “My girlfriend’s like, ‘Get off, it’s over, let it go.’”
“I can’t. That’s the beauty of us competitors.”
Marcus Smart added that it was the Celtics’ lack of depth that undid them in the end, especially after needing to muster an elite level of play as early as January with the Celtics still stuck in mediocrity.
“I think depth was one of the big things that hurt us,” Smart added. “You had me, Jayson (Tatum), Jaylen (Brown) and our starters playing, clawing (up the standings) and we did it to ourselves.”
By the end of the Finals, the Celtics were running on fumes, with Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins leading a suffocating Warriors defense that made life hell for Tatum and Brown. The Celtics thought about adding Brooklyn Nets star and former MVP Kevin Durant in the offseason to increase their title chances, but refused to do so in the end after the Nets asked for more than the reported package of Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick.
In the end, however, Marcus Smart is happy that the core group of players that made the Finals is still present in Celtic green, as they will enter the season motivated to avenge their heartbreaking finals loss.
“I am glad to be able to say we have the team still together,” Smart said. “We made a run and we left a little bit on the table. We want to run it back.”