June 9, 2022
Q. I feel like the first two games was definitely a chess match. I feel like last night's game was to me typical of Celtics basketball. Where do you feel mentally you made that shift from the first two games to being at home in Boston?
MARCUS SMART: Just went into film after Game 2. Though first two games were definitely a chess match. You're trying to figure out your opponent, you're trying to figure out what adjustments you may need to make.
Game 2, they made the right adjustments, and we didn't. Game 3, we went back to who we were. We made our adjustments that we needed to make, but also playing the brand of basketball that we know how to play and we've been playing all year.
Q. We've seen this in the postseason with your team, the stretch of turnovers really hurt you, that became as focal point, then a game or two later there's a stretch of turnovers that really hurt you guys. Same thing with the third quarter. You talk a lot about third quarter, we have to attend to that. Third quarter comes up, there's a problem again. How do you explain that pattern and that tendency of sort of like you know what you have to do and then don't quite get it done sometimes?
MARCUS SMART: Can't. It's just one of those things where it's a mystery. You go out and do as best as you can. You can only prepare for what you know is coming. But the outcome and everything else that happens can change.
You can have a plan, and it doesn't work. We been in a few of those situations. But, you know, it allows us to grow. We learn from game to game. As we know, when those games, those turnovers happen, we lose those games, we bounce back.
We're definitely trying to not keep that pattern going. But like I said, all you can do is prepare and deal with the cards that you have dealt in front of you.
Q. If it's happening in a third quarter situation, are you aware of it as it's going on?
MARCUS SMART: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of hard not to, especially when you're out there and you're the one going through it. You definitely feel it.
But like I said, you just try to do what you supposed to do, and that's what you know how to do, go out there and try to win to the best of your ability.
Q. How would you describe what this season has been like? Obviously it's been a winding road to a large degree, some dead ends. You have kind of gotten through everything. How would you describe what it's been like and the character of this group to do what it's done to this point?
MARCUS SMART: I would probably have to describe it as just right. Everything happens for a reason. Trying to accomplish something great, things have to be sacrificed, you have to go through some things to prepare you for the battle that's in front of you.
Early on in this season we had to prepare for battle that we were going to have to endure. We went through it. We went through the training. We went through the beat-downs. We went through the blood, sweat and tears. Now we have an opportunity to win the ring.
Everything happens for a reason.
Q. With Jaylen and Jayson, have you noticed anything different in terms of how they interact differently, on the court in particular, who is on the ball, off?
MARCUS SMART: Definitely. I think we all have. We've seen how aggressive that they are. They're very adamant about what they want, what they're going to do with the ball, with making decisions and making reads.
They've grown and matured in that aspect. They knew in order for us to reach our full potential that they were going to have to take that step. They took the challenge, and they're showing it and it's proven right now.
MARCUS SMART: Yeah, me too. The same thing. They've grown. They've had to understand that they have to mature in that aspect, know when to let one go, when to help him out, when to do what you're supposed to do.
Q. You guys have obviously been very good at responding following a loss, including on the road. Maybe not so much following up a win at home, but that's the situation you're in now. You have a chance to build up quite an advantage here. What do you have to do to get over that hump?
MARCUS SMART: We have to replicate what we did in Game 3. We reduced our turnovers. We reduced our second-chance points, offensive rebounds. We just controlled the game, the game that we wanted to play.
Q. You had told us you didn't want to get beat down in your house. You were in the house last night. The house was loud. They were on Draymond. Do you think that had an impact on him and on you guys? Did you feed off that energy?
MARCUS SMART: Definitely think we did. When you got an environment like last night, it's kind of hard not to feed off the energy. It was electrifying. It was chaotic. It was perfect for the timing of it.
I definitely think it may have affected Draymond in some way, but we all know Draymond feeds off that as well. It's kind of hard to say how much of an effect it really had on him because he embraces that, that's who he is. He takes that on and he uses that to fuel him.
But as a competitor, it don't matter what side you're on, home or away, when the energy is like, that you definitely feel it and you take it on and you let it fuel you.
Q. About Draymond, the thing I think I know, I appreciate about the both of you, is your candor. It's kind of like uncle conversation, older cousin that you respect. Why do you think in today's society your level of candor, his level of candor, is so misunderstood?
MARCUS SMART: I probably have to say because it's not the norm, you know. Nobody's used to the way, how loud it is. Nobody's used to how aggressive it is. If youâ€™re not that type of person, it could come off and rub you the wrong way.
But that's what makes us special. We're different. We embrace the difference that we have from everybody else. That's what makes us great.
I know for a fact Draymond is never going to change. We don't expect him to. That's Draymond, that's what makes him the great player that he is. His career has been full of triumph because of it. He takes that team to a new level when he's on the court, with what he brings. Vice versa with me.
Every team will tell you, they might not tell you right up front, but they'll tell you: Marcus and Draymond are two guys we would love to have on our team and two guys we would hate to play against.
Q. What did you learn from early in the season that you've given up leads, especially in New York? Now when the third quarter came and the Warriors made the rally, what did you learn? Did you lean on those past experiences to pull through last night?
MARCUS SMART: I'd probably say that I've learned and this team learned that no matter how things get, we still have a chance to take control, if not already be in control of that game. Even though they go on their runs, we understand that basketball is a game of runs, they're one of the greatest teams to do it, but so are we. We're going to make our runs as well.
I think we've learned that we can control the game no matter how bad it looks if we just stick to what we know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports