Marcus Smart earns praise from Cleveland Cavaliers after helping Boston Celtics to 2-0 series lead


BOSTON — On an evening when Marcus Good did all the everyday Marcus Good issues — diving into the gang to save lots of a free ball, standing up for a teammate after a tough foul, making a well timed steal when his crew wanted it most — everybody from his teammates to LeBron James gushed in regards to the impression he has when he is on the courtroom.

The Celtics improved to Eight-2 since Good returned from thumb surgical procedure late in Boston’s first-round overcome the Milwaukee Bucks, and his mixture of hustle, grit and toughness has moved Boston to 2 wins away from an unbelievable journey to the NBA Finals.

Good completed with 11 factors on a mere Three-of-9 capturing however added 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals over 31 minutes in Boston’s 107-94 triumph in Sport 2 at TD Backyard. Good was a team-best plus-21 total in plus/minus.

These numbers cannot quantify a few of his most impactful moments.

“He was born with his hands dirty,” Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown stated. “I’m just happy he’s on our side. Today was a tremendous effort on one of the biggest stages we’ve all played on. I commend Smart for coming with that hard hat that he always has.”

Good missed the ultimate 15 video games of the common season after tearing a ligament in his proper thumb whereas diving for a free ball in a sport in opposition to the Indiana Pacers on March 11. He was cleared to return for Sport 5 of Boston’s sequence in opposition to the Bucks, and his efforts that evening may need extended Boston’s season.

In Tuesday’s Sport 2, it was quintessential Good, as his handprints had been throughout Boston’s rally from a double-digit first-half deficit, after which salted away the win late.

The Celtics had been clinging to a single-digit lead early with underneath 9 minutes to play when Marcus Morris misfired on a jumper. Good, who had been jousting with Kevin Love underneath the basket, swooped behind Jeff Inexperienced, who had hauled within the rebound, and managed to poke the ball free. Because it bounced in entrance of the Cavaliers’ bench, Inexperienced simply watched whereas Good lunged to faucet the ball out to teammate Jayson Tatum earlier than crusing into the ft of the Cavaliers teaching workers and the followers seated courtside.

The Celtics did not rating on the possession, however it exemplified the trouble that Boston put in whereas rallying out of a double-digit first-half gap and preserving the Cavaliers at arm’s size within the closing body.

Cleveland was up 11 within the closing minute of the primary half, however Good assisted on a Morris bucket, then picked off a James feed close to midcourt earlier than feeding Morris once more to trim the deficit to seven.

“I think Marcus always makes plays at the right time,” stated James, who raved about Good’s potential to play a number of positions and impression the sport as a creator.

It was Good who confronted Cleveland’s J.R. Smith for what Good believed was a harmful push of a defenseless Al Horford late within the fourth quarter. Smith obtained a flagrant foul, and Smith and Good had been assessed double technicals for his or her flare-up.

“One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it,” Good stated.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens is aware of that the stats cannot fairly measure Good’s impression.

“I think he’s as tough as they come, right? He’s a true competitor,” Stevens stated. “He matches his depth with a bodily toughness.

“Individuals discuss him on a regular basis. Generally they deal with issues that do not matter, and the opposite instances they deal with that he impacts successful. We’re actually glad he is on our crew.”

Cavaliers coach Ty Lue was requested about Good’s impression and famous, “Identical impression he at all times has: simply successful basketball. He makes successful performs. He makes robust performs. If it is 50/50 balls, he will get it. If it is a free ball, offensive rebound they should have, he will get it. We have to have the ability to discover somebody who can match his toughness.”

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