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.
Really blown away tbh
I am delighted to be able to receive this award along with our team and my brothers on the team.
This is for mom! ❤️ I love you. pic.twitter.com/3xmhMluois
– smart marcus (@smart_MS3) April 19, 2022
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.
He was the first keeper to receive the award since Gary Payton in the 1995-96 season. pic.twitter.com/kunKEW6ujj
– NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2022
“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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