There’s just something about wildlife and Marcus Smart that helps form a natural comparison. Smart, who has earned “The Cobra” nickname for his aggressive, all-out hustle on the floor and ability to strike quickly, especially on the defensive end, took his turn to compare the Celtics to another predator for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Following Team USA’s 84-68 win over Canada in its final exhibition game Monday morning before the FIBA World Cup, Smart joined Sirius XM NBA radio to unveil in a unique way why the Celtics being an underdog this season puts the team in a more favorable position than some might think.
“It’s good for us,” Smart said. “Our backs are against the wall now. When you corner a wounded coyote, you better be ready for it to fight with everything it’s got. That’s us this year. We’re fighting like wounded coyotes with everything we have.”
Smart on being a leader for the Celtics this year: "Being seen as a leader here (with Team USA) is big. I think I've been a leader for a while, but this just keep growing my skills as a leader and gives me more confidence. It's good for me."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 26, 2019
Leading the pack of wounded coyotes will undoubtedly be Smart, who is the longest tenured Celtic as the 25-year-old is set to begin his sixth season with the C’s.
Smart, who was named a captain of Team USA along with Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell, fits well into a leadership role with his gritty style of play and strong mindset. Smart has had the chance to showcase that with Team USA and his leadership is what the Celtics need after having a void in that area a season ago.
Of course the play of the game so far was started by Marcus Smart doing Marcus Smart things pic.twitter.com/s847EhSY1X— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 26, 2019
“Being seen as a leader here (with Team USA) is big,” Smart said. “I think I’ve been a leader for a while, but this just keeps growing my skills as a leader and gives me more confidence. It’s good for me.”
With training camp only a month away, Smart feels that playing on Team USA along with Celtics teammates in Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has given them a head start in forming a better chemistry for the season.
Smart on being afraid his calf injury would cost him a roster spot on Team USA: "I was worried. I didn't think I would make the team because of it. I talked to my agent about if I should drop out, but I'm glad I worked through it. This is great for me."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 26, 2019
”It’s amazing,” Smart said. “We’re getting a jump on getting ready for the season. Everything is going great and we’re really doing well together.”