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Marcus Smart wins NBA’s Hustle Award once again

It’s becoming a yearly tradition at this point.

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart dives on the floor for a loose ball in Game 2 on Wednesday.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics guard Marcus Smart is all hustle, all the time, and the NBA recognized him once again for his excellence in that area.

Smart captured the NBA’s Hustle Award for the third time in the last five seasons, including his second straight. No one else has won it more than once.

Per the NBA, the award, created in 2016, “honors a player who makes impactful effort plays that might not appear in the box score.” That does sound an awful lot like Smart.

He ranked in the NBA’s leaders in charges drawn, deflections and loose balls recovered and helped lead the Celtics (57-25) to their best regular season since 2008-09.

Smart, surprisingly, didn't receive a single first, second or third-place vote in the Defensive Player of the Year race this season after winning the award last year.

While it was a bit of a down year defensively, his intensity and relentlessness were just as prominent throughout.

Smart played a critical role in Boston’s 121-87 Game 2 win over the 76ers on Wednesday, diving on the floor without hesitation as he often does.

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