NBA: Celtics’ Marcus Smart wins Defensive Player of the Year

Marcus Smart Boston Celtics NBA

Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics reacts during the first quarter of Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Qualifiers against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on April 17, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images / AFP

Boston Celtics keeper Marcus Smart made his mark on his career on Monday when he was named the NBA’s Best Defensive Player.

Smart, an eight-year veteran, has helped the Celtics lead the NBA in terms of the fewest allowed points per game (104.5), lowest opposing goal percentage (43.4) and lowest 3-point percentage ( 33.9). Boston finished with a defensive score of 106.2, the best in the league.

The 28-year-old Smart won 37 votes in first place and 257 points overall to win the award. He beat the top five finishers Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns (202 points), Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz (136), Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat (128) and Jaren Jackson Jr. by Memphis Grizzlies (99).

Smart is the first keeper to win this award since Gary Payton in the 1995-96 season.

“Definitely want to thank you guys, my man, my coaching staff, my teammates,” Smart said in a video posted by the Celtics on social media. “It’s not easy to play in this league full of guys like Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) who score the way they do, and get recognition in the defense trying to keep watch. watch these guys every night. This is eight years, man, just trying to do what I do, you guys let me do it. ”

Smart finished the season sixth in thefts (119) and seventh in thefts per game (1.68). He recovered 75 loose balls, placing fourth in the league.


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