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Must C’s: Smart Play of the Night returns

He’s back.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a tumultuous year and early start to this season for Marcus Smart. A sickness plagued his last week and knocked him out of Saturday’s game in Washington.

He’s back tonight in Boston, and so is the Smart Play of the Night, which I used to need to post on this website nearly every night.

Smart made perhaps his best hustle play of the young season midway through the first quarter, salvaging a loose ball all the way across half court from Javonte Green that Payton Pritchard scooped up. It led to Jaylen Brown’s third three to cap a 5-of-5 stretch over four minutes that led the Celtics back in the game.

Smart hit three triples of his own in the first half with three steals, helping Boston’s offense only turn the ball over once. He looks fresh after the weekend off, guiding defensive rotations that started rocky through a 63% Chicago first quarter and ended stronger through a 46% second for the Bulls.

In the pre-game, Smart hit his ceremonial backward, over-his-head out-of-bounds sideline shot on his first shot, a good omen for the rest of the night for sure.

Here’s to bringing back this series full-time for the player we love and trust.