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June 15, 2022

Marcus Smart

Boston Celtics

Practice Day

Q. How would you gauge the mood of the team? At practice it looked like you were dancing to some Michael Jackson. You guys pretty loose?

MARCUS SMART: Yeah. It's a blessed day, man. We get to wake up and have another opportunity to come out here and do what we love to do.

Not many people have that opportunity, so it's just another day for us. We're here in practice. We're enjoying each other's company, lifting each other up and making sure everybody is good to go.

Q. Would you say the team plays better with the proverbial backs against the wall? Do you guys play better when you are desperate?

MARCUS SMART: I think anybody does in the standpoint of you kind of have to. For us, we've been doing it all season, just for the simple fact we've been really on that back end of catching up with everybody else. We've kind of been forced to play with our backs against the wall.

We got real used to it where it's kind of part of us, in our nature now. It's nothing new to us. It's another game. It's another tough game. We're in our house.

Q. You know you're going to play in your home, TD Garden, and this is your advantage. Other than this advantage as a team, from your own perspective, what kind of advantage is more that you have?

MARCUS SMART: I think any team, any player will tell you being able to sleep in your own bed. Back to something familiar.

You get to get back to your routine and things like that, so really those type of things off the court. We all know about the things on the court. It's really those off-the-court things. Getting your extra rest that you probably wouldn't get on the road because you're uncomfortable, adjusting to the time difference and things like that.

Q. This deep into a playoff series with both offenses seemingly in the mud at times, how much would you say a series comes down to being less creative and just nailing the simple things offensively?

MARCUS SMART: It's key. It's key. Everybody knows each other's X's and O's, so it's just going out there and executing whatever it is you're doing to the best of your ability. Sometimes, and especially this deep, it comes down to those small things, because we all know deep in this run and in this game when you are going up against some of the greats, the margin of error is very small, and those little things come back to haunt you.

Q. I hope you'll permit a bigger picture question. When you play for the Boston Celtics in this city, obviously, the support you get is almost unmatched in the league. When you leave Boston, it maybe comes the other direction. Have you embraced that? Have you enjoyed that role as sort of -- villain isn't the right word, but you know what I'm talking about.

MARCUS SMART: Definitely. Listen, I'm doing something right, am I? My mom used to tell me, if nobody is talking about you, you ain't doing nothing right.

The fact that they're screaming and telling me this or telling me that or whatever they're doing shows me, obviously, I'm doing something right.

I embrace it. It's part of it. You've got to accept the good, and you've got to accept the bad that comes with it. We're professionals, and it's part of the game.

Q. Specifically when you add in not just personally because you're that kind of a player too, but the Celtic green. Obviously, I'm from L.A., It hits differently there. Do you feel that energy?

MARCUS SMART: Definitely. Everywhere we go, people are always talking. It's really not toward you. It's just the Boston name. We're a historical franchise and a franchise like the Boston Celtics, that comes with it. When you are doing something greater, you are part of a great culture. It happens. You take it and you run with it.

Q. Do you think about Russell and Bird and Pierce and all the greats before you and how you could be part of that Celtics legacy?

MARCUS SMART: Definitely. It's definitely something that motivates us. Not just myself. This team, to be able to do something special and have our names with those guys to do it. It's an honor to even be talked about to have that opportunity. So it's something we definitely think about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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