Smart’s comments won’t derail Celtics

As if there wasn’t enough conversational fodder about this playoff series, Marcus Smart went and opened his yap.

After the Celtics forced a Game 7 with the 76ers, Smart prattled on with a capsule look at the road Boston traveled to this afternoon’s winner-take-all at the Garden. In answer to a question on coach Joe Mazzulla’s decision to put Robert Williams in the lineup, Smart rapidly replied:

“That just goes to show Joe is learning, just like all of us. I know he’s been killed a lot – rightfully so. You know, he needs to make some adjustments. And he did that. And that’s all you can ask for – just continue to be the best he can be. And it takes everybody, it’s a full team effort.”

Smart tried to cushion that stunning remark a moment later, but there was no putting out this fire. Smart called out his coach three days before the Celtics would try to overcome some dreadful play in a second-round series.

It wasn’t difficult to extrapolate Smart’s comment into a feeling that other Celtics feel the same, that the players are commanding this ship and Mazzulla is just along for the ride.

But, naïve as the following comment may be, here goes:

I don’t think intended it as a put-down Mazzulla.

Smart’s impulsive nature on the court (for example, his shot selection) could be just as strong when the game ends (for example, the picture frame he punched out in 2018).

It was an on-the-spot post-game interview by ESPN. Smart may have jumbled his words on the growth the team has achieved since Ime Udoka was fired. He may have been stating the obvious – that Mazzulla had a mountain thrown in front of him and had to make adjustments as he climbed.

Regardless, the brouhaha Smart inspired will have no bearing on Game 7.

His impulse to toss up ill-advised shots may.

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