Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart gushes about Jayson Tatum, gives health update in Twitter AMA

Marcus Smart gushes about Jayson Tatum, gives health update in Twitter AMA

Marcus Smart is itching for the 2019-NBA season to resume -- and tweeting his way through the downtime.

With the NBA restart in Orlando about a month away, the Boston Celtics guard opened his Twitter feed up to fans Sunday night in a virtual "Ask Me Anything" session.

Turns out lots of people were up with lots of questions.

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Smart talked plenty about his current and former teammates, admitting he misses ex-Celtics guard Terry Rozier while showing some love for big man Daniel Theis.

Smart had especially high praise for young wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, insisting the former could be the best player in the NBA one day.

As for Smart himself? The 26-year-old revealed he's been playing pickup regularly and feels no ill effects from testing positive for COVID-19 in March.

Smart also is bullish on the Celtics' chances as they enter the Orlando "bubble" as the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed.

Boston and 21 other teams will have to adapt to playing in front of no fans. Smart wouldn't mind some arenas pumping in their own "crowd noise," though, and has a couple creative ideas for the league to consider.

Above all, Smart just wants to get back to playing basketball.

Training camps for bubble-eligible teams are set to begin this week, and the Celtics' first game in Orlando is set for July 31 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Only four more weeks, Marcus!

Marcus Smart: Ex-Celtics teammate Isaiah Thomas 'best to ever do it under 6 feet'

Marcus Smart: Ex-Celtics teammate Isaiah Thomas 'best to ever do it under 6 feet'

Celtics fans will forever appreciate what Isaiah Thomas did for them throughout his three seasons in Boston.

The 5-foot-9 guard really burst on the scene for the C's during the 2015-16 campaign, when he played in all 82 regular season games while averaging 22.2 points and 6.2 assists. He was named to the All-Star team then, and again the following season when he averaged 28.9 points while shooting 46 percent from the field and finishing fifth in league MVP voting.

Simply put, Thomas was exactly the kind of spark plug the Celtics needed during those seasons, and it was a shock when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the August 2017 deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston.

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Nearly three years later, I.T.'s contributions haven't been forgotten by the Celtics fans and players that were by his side during those thrilling seasons.

On Sunday, Thomas quote-tweeted a post from CBS Sports that highlighted his sensational 2016-17 season. He wrote, "NOBODY UNDER 6ft comes close."

Thomas' former Celtics teammate Marcus Smart agrees.

"Best to ever do it under 6’ my brother @isaiahthomas," he wrote shortly after I.T. posted his tweet.

There's no denying the immense respect Thomas and Smart still have for one another, as Thomas responded by calling Smart "one of my favorite teammates ever."

There have been some great players under the 6-foot mark, but it's hard to argue against Thomas as the most talented of the bunch. If not for the tear in his hip that derailed his promising career, he'd likely still be producing at an All-Star level.

Currently, Thomas is a free agent as he was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Clippers, who waived him three days later.

While we may never witness superstar I.T. again, there's hope that another team will give him a shot to prove he still has plenty left in the tank.

NBA odds: Celtics' Marcus Smart a long shot to win Defensive Player of the Year

NBA odds: Celtics' Marcus Smart a long shot to win Defensive Player of the Year

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, and yet oddsmakers think he has almost no chance of winning the league's Defensive Player of the Year award.

DraftKings Sportsbook has released its betting odds for Defensive Player of the Year, and Smart is a long shot, to say the least. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounpo is the betting favorite to win DPOY and back-to-back league MVP awards.

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Here are the latest DPOY odds:

Giannis Antetokounpo: -230
Anthony Davis: +150
Rudy Gobert: +2500
Patrick Beverley: +10000
Joel Embiid: +10000
Kawhi Leonard: +10000
Marcus Smart: +10000
Six others at +10000

The Celtics guard has a 104.3 defensive rating, 0.14 defensive win shares, 1.6 steals per game (11th-best in the league) and 11 charges drawn.

But perhaps the most impressive part of Smart's defensive game is his ability to guard all five positions. Whether it's a point guard, an elite wing or even a center, Smart defends every position and does it at a high level. This kind of defensive versatility has been quite valuable for a Celtics team that has the fourth-best defensive rating in the league, which exceeds many preseason expectations for Boston's defense.

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NBA legend and TNT analyst Dwyane Wade gave Smart plenty of credit during the network's broadcast of a March 3 game between the C's and Brooklyn Nets.

“Listen, I know that this award is normally a big man’s award --  and big men do deserve it -- but this year, we need to get back to the Gary Paytons of the world, the Michael Jordans of the world, where guards get the Defensive Player of the Year award,” Wade said at halftime.

“What Marcus Smart has done, you saw him tonight when he met [Jarrett Allen] at the rim, he’s fearless. And it’s not just the blocks, it’s the hustle. It’s the diving on the floor for the ball, it’s the switching one through five that the guy does. So I think he needs more credit.”

Even if Smart doesn't win DPOY, there's still a very good chance he earns a spot on the NBA All-Defensive first or second team. He was on the All-Defensive first team last season for the first time in his career.