Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum both made one pathetic sequence for the Boston Celtics. During the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons, Smart managed to steal the ball away from Bojan Bogdanovic with no defenders in front of him.
While running a fastbreak, Smart saw Tatum trailing him and tried to throw an alley-oop off the backboard to his teammate, but Tatum bobbled the pass, botching the play.
After the game, Smart detailed his thought process when running that play.
“It’s kind of tough because you got Jayson Tatum screaming ‘Off the glass!’ to you. I think anybody in my position probably throws it off the glass to him. The ball just slipped out of his hand. It happens, but after that play, you just gotta keep everything simple now. You tried it, and it didn’t work. That’s what we did.”
Smart also said that he wanted the assist to make his statline look good. Even though the play didn’t work out, he had no regrets.
“I was mad because I almost didn’t get my 10 assists because of that play, so it almost cost me, but we learn from it,” Smart said. “Like I said, I’d still do it again. Jaylen or Jayson tell me to throw it, especially (if) we are having fun. Late in the game, I’m not doing it, but early in the game, to try to get ’em going, I’ll do it.”
Despite the botched alley-oop, Smart finished the night with 10 assists, giving him the double-double as he also finished with 18 points.
Smart Praises Celtics’ Resilience
The Celtics faced the Pistons down five players: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, and Danilo Gallinari, and were playing their third game in four nights. Yet they managed to get their sixth straight win.
During his postgame presser, Smart praised the team for how resilient they were despite being shorthanded and having a heavy workload.
“It says a lot. We talk about our resilience all the time. Us being able to be resilient on a back-to-back, playing against a really good team who’s physical. They’re young, and they play hard to the buzzer. When you got a team that played as hard as them, they can catch you slipping on a night…To be able to finish the game without our starters, it shows how professional we are and how resilient this team is,” Smart said.
The win puts the Celtics at 10-3, which places them second in the Eastern Conference standings and first in the Atlantic Division standings. They are 3.5 games ahead of the two teams tied for second place – the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.
Smart’s Assist Numbers
Smart dished out 10 assists during the Celtics’ game against the Pistons while turning the ball over once. By doing so, Smart has logged 48 assists while turning the ball over six times. According to Taylor Snow of Celtics.com, Smart is the first Celtic to put up that many assists with a low number of turnovers since Danny Ainge in 1988.
On the season, Smart is averaging seven assists and 1.5 turnovers a game.