Marcus Smart has been frustrated by the Celtics’ slow start.
Boston was expected to be one of the best teams in the NBA entering the season, but it has registered just a 7-6 record so far in 2018-19. Smart, the fifth-year Celtics guard, told NBC Sports Boston he addressed the team about its up-and-down play after the Celtics’ 100-94 loss to the Trail Blazers last weekend.
“I hate losing,” Smart said. “I probably hate losing more than I love winning. Especially with the team that we have and the potential that we have, we shouldn’t be losing games that we know we should win.”
Smart said he told the team it “can’t be ok with being fighters” after it erased a 21-point deficit and almost beat Portland.
“(Coach) Brad (Stevens) came in and he gave us the whole speech about, ‘You know you guys are fighters, you’re resilient,’ for us to keep coming back down 20,” Smart sad. “But, as a team, I just felt like we shouldn’t even accept being down 20 and having to fight to come back. And there’s only so much that Brad and the coaching staff can do.
“We cannot be OK with that. We have to look ourselves in the mirror, look at one another, hold each other accountable, and figure out what’s going on.”
Smart has averaged 5.4 points and 4.3 assists in 24.3 minutes per game this season. He signed a four-year, $52 million extension with Boston this summer.
The Celtics will return to the court when they face the Bulls on Wednesday.