Patrick Beverley

Marcus Smart fires back at Patrick Beverley's comparison: 'I'm just on another level'

Marcus Smart fires back at Patrick Beverley's comparison: 'I'm just on another level'

DENVER — After Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley scoffed at a reporter's suggestion that Marcus Smart brings a similar intensity on the court, Smart fired back Friday while suggesting he’s a more impactful player than Beverley.

After the Celtics-Clippers showdown on Wednesday in Los Angeles, won by L.A. in overtime, Beverley had been asked about going against a player that matches his intensity level. Beverley dismissed the question, saying only, “That’s funny.”

Smart was asked for a response before the Celtics’ shootaround on Friday morning in Denver and upped the ante a bit.

"I’m not surprised at all. I’d have done the same thing,” said Smart. "What I am surprised about is for Pat to think that I’m below him or anything, in that standpoint where you [and] me head up against Pat, I think we know who’d win that battle. I think my play speaks for itself. I’m not saying Pat’s not a good ballplayer, good defender, I’m just on another level right now.”

Pressed on his respect for Beverley, Smart stressed an appreciation for Beverley’s defensive ways. But he doubled down on the notion of who’s the better player overall.

“[The respect is] still there. Nothing’s changed,” said Smart. "He has heart. You gotta respect a guy like that, that goes out there and plays like that every night, fearlessly, and really stands down to nobody.

"The respect factor is there but, at the same time, I’m on another level. When it comes to me, if you had to choose me [or] Pat, I think I’d be getting that nod. So no offense to Pat but step his game up a little bit more and we’ll see.”

Beverley scorched Boston for 14 points and 16 rebounds, highlighted by four 3-pointers, including some clutch shots. Smart had one of his poorer shooting nights, going 7-of-20 overall from the field but finishing with 15 points and 8 assists.

In limited head-to-head matchups Wednesday night, neither player scored against the other, according to the league’s matchup data.

The Celtics and Clippers meet again on Feb. 13 in Boston, the final game before the All-Star break.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off tonight at 8 ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Patrick Beverley apparently took insult to this Marcus Smart comparison

Patrick Beverley apparently took insult to this Marcus Smart comparison

Any objective outsider would notice Patrick Beverley and Marcus Smart play with a similar fire and intensity.

But Beverley isn't an objective outsider.

So, when the Los Angeles Clippers' resident agitator was asked after Wednesday night's win over the Boston Celtics what it was like facing Smart -- one of the few NBA players who can match his intensity -- Beverley bristled.

Here's the exchange, via Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints:

Beverley conveyed very clearly via his silence and icy stare that he believes no one can match his intensity on the court -- not even Smart, who's billed as one of the toughest players in the league.

Smart probably would have something to say about this exchange if he saw it. But after Beverley helped the Clippers seal a 107-104 victory with a clutch 3-pointer in overtime, Smart was complimentary of his combatant.

"Pat Bev is a gamer,” Marcus Smart told reporters after the game, via MassLive.com. “He got himself going. He got a couple easy buckets. He got a couple steals. ... He changed the game, that’s what he does."

While hustle and intensity aren't quantifiable stats, Smart is contributing more than Beverley on the stat sheet, averaging 12.1 points, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game compared to Beverley's 7.7 points, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

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Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off Friday at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

That 617 Life Podcast: Why are Celtics fans overreacting after opening night loss?

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That 617 Life Podcast: Why are Celtics fans overreacting after opening night loss?

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Raptors, which tips off Friday at 6 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

C's fans are going crazy just one game into the season, Leroy, Shanda and Cerrone explain why, plus more NBA thoughts and the Pats being ruthless when it comes to player moves.

4:26 - A handful of players have come and gone in Foxboro this season. Leroy, Shanda and Cerrone debate whether or not the Patriots should be so ruthless with getting rid of players.

13:33 - In Cerrone's Cold Cuts and Hot Takes, he talks about how the end is nearing for LeBron James and if he really deserves to be called "The King" anymore.

20:49 - Shanda sounds off on Patrick Beverley being fined by the league for throwing the ball into the stands, Tyronn Lue snubbing Rich Paul and Jaylen Ramsey's love life in Los Angeles.

26:33 - After just one game Celtics fans are already going crazy about the team underperforming. Leroy, Shanda and Cerrone discuss the reason for their overreaction.

36:49 - In this week's Playa's Call Leroy shouts out Aaron Monteiro, Shanda shouts out Lisa Leslie and Cerrone shouts out the new Call of Duty game.

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