...By Solomon Thomas for TDPel Media.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is gearing up to face off against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.
Smart and Young have a long-standing rivalry that goes back to their Big 12 days, and their most recent matchup last month turned physical.
Despite this, Smart has stated that he won’t change his approach to guarding Young and Atlanta’s offense.
In a recent interview on behalf of Pronamel for the launch of their new toothpaste, Pronamel Active Shield, Smart reflected on his altercation with Young and explained why he won’t change his approach to the game.
He stated that he and Young are cool and that he has known him for a long time.
Smart acknowledged that Trae is a great player who has done awesome things in the league and will continue to do so.
The altercation between Smart and Young took place during a match in March where they got tangled up after a fiery exchange in the final minutes.
Smart was ejected for the incident, and Young received a technical foul.
Despite this, Smart said that the incident is behind him, and he is looking forward to a rematch on Saturday.
Smart predicted that the Celtics would face the Hawks in the first round even before Atlanta’s upset over the Heat in the Eastern Conference play-in game.
Smart is averaging 11.5 points on 41.5 percent shooting, 3.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists following an NBA Finals run with the Celtics last season.
Smart stated that he refuses to let last year’s ouster hinder his mentality heading into the postseason.
He believes that they shouldn’t lose their confidence and should take this opportunity to seize the moment.
He feels confident about his health going into the playoffs after missing Boston’s final three regular-season games due to a neck issue.
In conclusion, Smart’s comments highlight the competitive nature of the playoffs and his team’s mentality heading into the series against the Hawks.
Fans will be eagerly watching to see how Smart and Young’s rivalry will play out on the court.