Magic Johnson Sends Strong Message on Celtics Star, Heat Blowout

Marcus Smart

Getty Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics.

Marcus Smart left quite an impression when he came back to the Boston Celtics for Game 2 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. On May 19, 2022, Smart put up a statline of 24 points on 8-for-22 shooting from the field, including 5-for-12 from three-point land, to go with 12 assists, nine rebounds, and three steals. Not only that, but Smart also had a plus/minus of plus-31, which was the highest among Boston’s starters.

Smart’s performance played a substantial role in the Celtics winning Game 2, 127-102. to tie the series with the Miami Heat at one game apiece. Smart’s performance caught a lot of people’s attention, and that included Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

Johnson singled out Smart’s play as the reason why Boston came out of Game 2 victorious. Johnson also pointed out how Smart’s stats made such a major difference to Boston while including Smart’s defense on Heat star Jimmy Butler.

Butler’s statline of 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field to go with six rebounds and three assists may call that into question. However, Butler’s plus/minus of minus-20 was the lowest among Miami’s starters in Game 2, so it wouldn’t be hard to deduce that Smart had something to do with that knowing his high plus/minus by contrast.


Magic Also Praised Jayson Tatum and Boston’s Defense

It turns out Smart wasn’t the only one who got a shoutout from Magic after Game 2. Jayson Tatum, who scored 27 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including four-for-six from three, was also singled out by Magic for his dazzling performance against Miami.

Magic also made special mention of Boston’s defense containing Miami’s three-point shooting, which was impressive to him because, in his words, Miami is a “great three-point shooting team.”

Johnson’s words hold merit because Miami was in fact the NBA’s number one team in three-point shooting percentage during the 2021-22 regular season. However, that has not since carried on once the playoffs began. Miami has shot 32 percent from three since the playoffs began, which would put them 13th among the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs in 2022.

It’s also the lowest among the teams that are in each conference finals matchup.


Trae Young Also Praised Smart’s Game 2 Performance

It appears NBA stars from both previous and current eras are noticing the impact Smart makes when he takes the court. After Smart put up the performance he did, Trae Young, All-Star Guard for the Atlanta Hawks, also took to Twitter to praise Smart.

In his tweet, Young said, “Marcus Smart makes a huge difference for them (The Celtics)! He Hoopin” with a flame emoji on the end.

Judging from Young’s tweet, it sounds like he was shouting out Smart for his offensive output more than anything. Smart’s offensive numbers were impressive in Game 2, but given that his reputation is more on the defensive side of the ball, it is nice to see one of the league’s premier offensive players give Smart his due.

It’s also heartwarming to see Young praise Smart like this since the two got into it a little not too long back on January 3, 2020.


VideoVideo related to magic johnson sends strong message on celtics star, heat blowout2022-05-20T02:27:27-04:00

Conversely, the two appeared to be on good terms two years later when the two hugged it out after Smart inadvertently hurt one of Young’s ankles when Young landed on Smart’s foot after a shot on March 1, 2022.


Trae Young has ankle injured by Marcus Smart then he shows best sportsmanship#nba #nbahighlights2022-03-02T01:19:12Z

The one question remaining is if Smart can keep this up for the rest of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. If he can, that will make Boston hard to beat.

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