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What’s up with Marcus Smart?

Is Smart too intense?

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After practice on Monday, Marcus Smart admitted that he pulled himself out of Game 1 because "things were going wrong and I was making a couple mistakes." He says that he's done it before, but does that concern you as the team progresses through the playoffs?

Keith Smith: Not entirely sure what he meant by the comments and not having his head right, but his play on the court certainly reflected it. I appreciate the willingness for a player to say "I don't have it right now." and ask to come out. But the "not having it" part is what is concerning. Game 1 of a second round series is one thing. What if you "don't have it" in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Finals? At this point, in his third year, Smart needs to figure out how to get past something like that.

Sean Penney: You have to hope that checking himself out wasn't a sign that Smart's confidence is fading because that's such a big part of his game. Give him credit for recognizing that he was hurting the team with his mistakes and needed to take a minute to get his head straight. It was great to see the veteran Al Horford shift down the bench to talk to Smart at that point, which shows the type of leadership value he brings that often goes under the radar.

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Sy: It’s weird. Before Smart spoke today, I suggested that Stevens might have had some insight into Marcus’ state of mind:

Stevens must have recognized the frustration that Smart had when he fouled Bogdanovich for a four-point play. Knowing Smart, he would have tried harder on subsequent possessions, but with the team in the penalty, his aggressiveness would be penalized.

It ended up being Smart that knew his own limits. I’m not worried about Marcus. I think he recognizes his style and knew that it wouldn’t be effective with the team nearing the penalty. He had already played nine minutes of the 3rd and all of the 4th so he was probably due for a blow soon anyway.

Alex Kungu: I think Smart’s comments are concerning in the sense that he’s really struggled to keep himself composed against the Wizards all year, and the last thing he needs to do right now is beat himself up over mistakes. Celtics are going to rely heavily on Smart to contain the likes of John wall and Bradley Beal, and game 1 was one of his more impressive outing defensively. If anything, Stevens shouldn’t have put Smart in that position in the beginning of the 4th with that ridiculous lineup when they could have put the game away early. Regardless, Smart should be fine, the Celtics are in good shape, and all is good……for now.

Jeff Clark: Glass half full version: He's like a shooter that knows he's hit a cold streak and is looking to get his teammates the ball more. Glass half empty version: I mean, what? I guess he gets points for being self-aware, but I'd rather have him channel that into positive energy than needing to pull himself out of games.

Jared Weiss: Marcus Smart has had a few outbursts on the bench this season. Most notable was his argument with assistant coach Jerome Allen at the end of the Celtics loss in the January funeral in Washington. He got punked and was more furious with himself than anyone else. He got in a shouting match with Jaylen Brown in the huddle during a win over Minnesota in March when Jaylen broke off a play to drive to the rim. Smart lectured Brown past the point of contrition and into confrontation. It boiled down quickly and both players moved forward without issue.

Smart nearly lost his composure a few times in the Bulls series and Isaiah Thomas had to yell him down. It happened again in Game 1, but this time Smart couldn’t stay out there. Smart and I discussed at practice Saturday how he plans to stay tangled in John Wall’s shirt like a landline in the 80’s. He has to stay physical but light on his feet, not getting frustrated and getting caught in a foul. When he lost that control in the fourth quarter, he lost his cool. He got away with pulling himself from Game 1, but he’s going to have to find his center when he’s doing this when his team is losing and feeling desperate.

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