Marcus Smart plays at one speed, and it doesn't matter if the Boston Celtics are in a preseason game or Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Smart gives maximum effort on each play. He takes charges, crashes the boards, dives on the floor for loose balls and relishes guarding the opposing team's best player.
The veteran guard displayed his trademark hustle early in Tuesday night's preseason opener versus the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. He made a shot at the offensive end of the court and then ran back on defense, cutting off Sixers guard Ben Simmons and diving on the floor to steal the ball and get it to a teammate.
Check out the crazy effort in the video below:
Celtics veterans know all about Smart's energy and defensive prowess. The rookies, including Payton Pritchard, saw it for the first time in game action Tuesday.
"It's an example of how we should play and how you win games," Pritchard said in his postgame Zoom call with reporters. "You need guys like that. Marcus Smart, he's a dog and he does what it takes. He's a perfect leader for that."
Smart has been selected to the league's All-Defensive first team in each of the last two seasons, and if he stays healthy throughout the 2020-21 season, the 26-year-old guard should receive that honor for a third time.
The Celtics will conclude preseason play Friday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden.