Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been named the winner of the 2021-22 NBA Hustle Award, the NBA announced today.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 23, 2022
Smart becomes the first two-time winner of the Hustle Award after first earning the honor following the 2018-19 season. pic.twitter.com/ACMPchcWyP
Past winners of the award include Thaddeus Young (2020-21), Montrezl Harrell (2019-20), Amir Johnson (2017-18), and Patrick Beverley (2016-17).
According to the NBA, the Hustle Award was created to reward “players that do the little things that don’t often show up in the traditional box score.” It is largely based on the Hustle stats that the NBA began tracking in the 2016 postseason. These stats include contested shots, deflections, screen assists, charges drawn, and loose balls recovered, among other categories.
During the regular season, Smart ranked 11th in deflections (205), 10th in charges drawn (16), and fifth in loose balls recovered (74). He also ranked sixth amongst guards in screen assists (39).
The Defensive Player of the Year has become synonymous with hustle, grit, and effort and has continued to display these traits throughout the postseason.