One of the bigger stories heading into the 2017-18 season for the Celtics is Marcus Smart’s improvement in a contract year. He slimmed down his frame, losing 20 pounds to weigh about 219 lbs. While that should help his quickness and explosiveness, there were questions to whether Smart could still keep up with bigger player’s strength down low. At Celtics Media Day, Smart assured us that his strength is still there.
Marcus Smart wants it to be known, with his weight loss: "My strength has never been lost."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 25, 2017
Some of Smart’s teammates have already noticed how fast he has become after the weight loss.
Terry Rozier: "You see Marcus, he got smaller. Let's bring that up. He's ready to push the ball too. We're going to be a fast team."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) September 25, 2017
This is a scary thought for opposing coaches. Smart also said that his new-found quickness will help him guard, “The guards like Bradley Beal and John Wall a lot better.” For him to improve his perimeter defense without losing his edge in the post should make for a special year for Smart on the defensive end.
Another concern going into the year was that the Celtics would have to take some time in developing a new identity after the departures of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. Smart is the longest tenured Celtic on the roster, so if anyone is going to spearhead that effort, it’s probably him. However, Smart is confident that other than the players on the roster, nothing has changed.
Marcus Smart: "Even though we lost a core group of guys, the culture and attitude in the locker room hasn't changed."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) September 25, 2017
Some of Smart’s most noteworthy comments had the same theme. While Smart lost weight, he has only gained from it, and while the Celtics lost core players, the culture is still the same. This is a promising development heading into training camp, and we’ll see how quickly the players on the team now get acclimated with each other on the floor.
Take a look at Smart’s full press conference below in the video produced by CLNS Media.