Marcus Smart's comments Monday night raised plenty of eyebrows outside TD Garden. But how were his remarks received in the Boston Celtics organization?
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens spoke with NBC Sports Boston's Michael Holley in a 1-on-1 interview at Tuesday's ABCD Hoop Dreams charity event and addressed Smart's public call-out of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown following a fourth-quarter meltdown against the Chicago Bulls.
Stevens hinted that Smart has spoken to Tatum and Brown in the wake of Monday's comments to try to get things back on track.
"I think the most important thing about last night's message and what he said was that he talked to those guys about it," Stevens said. "And I saw that today. It's funny, when you're in it and when you see guys at the facility -- when you see him and Jayson sitting down eating breakfast together today and talking about how to come to find a solution for our team -- those guys want to win. At the end of the day, that's the most important thing."
Smart was frank Monday night in his criticism of the Celtics offense, which scored just 11 points in the fourth quarter amid the biggest late-game collapse in modern NBA history.
"There's only so much I can do without the ball in my hands. I'm just standing in the corner," Smart said.
"... Every team knows we're trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen. Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody's scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball. They don't want to pass the ball."
Tatum and Brown probably didn't enjoy hearing Smart's comments, especially after a game in which Smart had zero assists. But if the veteran guard aired those grievances to Tatum and Brown directly as well, then perhaps they can resolve those issues head-on and emerge as a better team for it.
"You have to be measured when you talk publicly, but the most important thing is, you've got to put your name on it," Stevens added. "And you've got to make sure you have those direct, difficult conversations."
Check out Stevens' full interview with Holley in the YouTube video below.