So far this season, Marcus Smart has been playing some of the toughest defense in the NBA. But it has come at a cost.
Smart has been taking some shots where it hurts, and Monday night was no exception. Against the Dallas Mavericks, Smart got kicked in the groin and went down in pain.
After the game, Smart had a lighthearted press conference where he said he needs to find a solution to that rather specific problem (via the Celtics on NBC Sports Boston Twitter account).
"[Taking a beating is] nothing new for me," Smart said. "I've been taking a beating my whole life. But I don't know what it is. I keep getting kicked in the groin. I don't know what it is about that. We've got to figure out a solution to stop that. I'm used to it. It's what I do, and I pride myself on that."
Part of the reason that Smart has taken so many shots is that he's guarding players much bigger than him. Against the Mavericks, Smart (6-foot-4) played a critical role in guarding the 7-foot-2 Kristaps Porzingis and was part of the reason the team held him to just four points on 1-of-11 shooting.
Smart is one of the toughest guys in the league, so he won't complain much about taking some shots. But if he does keep guarding big men amid the Celtics' shortage of effective bigs, he'll have to find a way to avoid getting hit down there too much.
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Should the Boston Celtics make an upgrade ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline? Here are seven players who could be moved and may be worth a look from the C's.
If the Detroit Pistons really want to trade Andre Drummond, they'll need to step on the gas pedal.
Teams have "kicked the tires" on a potential Drummond trade but there has been "no traction" on any deal ahead of Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported Friday.
The Boston Celtics reportedly are among the teams interested in the 26-year-old big man, who leads the NBA in rebounds per game (15.7) and ranks eighth in blocks (1.8).
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Drummond would give Boston an answer to Eastern Conference giants like Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Milwaukee's Brook and Robin Lopez while bolstering a thin frontcourt currently holding its own with Enes Kanter and an overachieving Daniel Theis.
As Mannix points out, though, Drummond's $27 million cap hit could be a deal-breaker for many teams, including the Celtics. The C's would have to move Gordon Hayward or Marcus Smart and at least one other player to make salaries match, but the team seems reluctant to part with any members of their core.
If Boston still wants an upgrade, it may find better luck with Davis Bertans; Mannix reports there's a "feeling around the league" that the Washington Wizards "almost have to shop" the 27-year-old big man, who is averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range amid a breakout season.