The Boston Celtics picked up a big-time win on Saturday night, taking down Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Before their Wednesday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers, they had lost three games in a row, blowing double-digit leads in each of them.
Atlanta did their best to make a comeback against the Celtics on Saturday, but Boston prevailed despite multiple stumbles. One of the issues that facilitated the Hawks’ comeback was a scuffle between Marcus Smart and Young that led to the Celtics guard getting ejected.
After the game, Young was asked if he received an explanation as to why he got a tech. He said that he didn’t and also issued a statement, declining to comment further.
“I mean, nah, I didn’t get an explanation on why I got a tech,” Young said via the These Urban Times YouTube channel. “But yeah, nah. Nothing much to say.”
The scuffle began after a layup attempt from Young led to him inadvertently kicking Smart below the belt. The Celtics guard took issue with the action and immediately went face-to-face with Young. They ended up falling to the ground, and Smart was ejected for his role in the altercation.
But despite the momentum the Hawks built up through the second half, the Celtics still managed to take home the victory. Young even put up insane numbers, attempting to earn Atlanta the win. He dropped 35 points, three rebounds, and 13 assists on 12-of-27 shooting from the field and 4-of-11 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Smart, he put up 11 points, one rebound, and six assists before getting ejected. He shot 4-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-6 from distance.
Derrick White Issues Statement on Playing Time
Smart is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and has been an integral part of Boston’s rotation for years. However, their new guards – Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon – have played very well this year.
When asked whether or not he gets upset when he doesn’t get to close games, White remained extremely level-headed, praising Smart and Brogdon in the process.
“I mean, I’m playing basketball,” White said after Boston’s win over the Trail Blazers via CLNS Media. “I’m blessed. So, I’m really trying just to have the right perspective on things. But just understand that it’s a team game. There’ll be times when I’m going to need to close. There’s going to be times when Malcolm, Smart – I mean, it’s hard to take them out of the game as well. So, anytime I’m out there, I’m just trying to do things to help us win the game. And even if I’m off the court, just be a good teammate and trust that the people out there are going to help us win.”
Marcus Smart Puts Celtics on Notice
Before they snapped their losing streak, Smart put the Celtics on notice, urging them to play with more intensity.
“Just play harder. You know, we got to play harder,” Smart said via Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston. “Teams are coming in here and out toughing us, you know, and that’s one thing we try to pride ourselves on. Especially early on in the season was, you know, being the tougher team, and right now we’re not and teams are coming in and out-toughing us. So, I feel fixing that will fix a lot of things. Having that tough mentality coming back in and, you know, throwing the first punch, and if you do get hit, hit back and get up and everything else will start kind of slowly coming back together.”