The Celtics win in overtime thanks to Marcus Smart’s ‘Flu Game.’


The Celtics win in overtime thanks to Marcus Smart’s ‘Flu Game.’

For most fans, there is only one name that springs to mind when it comes to the “flu game”: the famous Michael Jordan. Of course, there have undoubtedly been many more. And now, following their win against the Charlotte Hornets on October 25, the Boston Celtics have their flu game to reflect on — and many will value Marcus Smart’s performance even more as a result.

Most fans will, but not all of them.

Smart is the most divisive player in the NBA, with fans either adoring or despising him. There is no such thing as a middle ground. Due to a perceived lack of desire from the defensive-minded point guard, the section of angry supporters has grown louder over the last two games.

Smart is no stranger to controversy or criticism, having called out a CLNS Media post-game show in April 2021 during an interview with John Wallach and Cedric Maxwell on 98.5 The Sports Hub for suggesting he’s not “actually a great defender.”

However, witnessing Smart’s victories over the Houston Rockets on October 24 and the Charlotte Hornets the next day, it was clear that he was falling behind. Marcus Smart usually puts on a defensive show, “crazy dogging” on the perimeter and scrapping on the low block, demonstrating why he’s one of the NBA’s top defensive guards. Smart, on the other hand, seemed to favor switching out on larger, slower opponents, where he could rely on his physicality rather than quickness and intensity.

Ime Udoka’s “switch-everything” approach and dependence on guards in veer-back responsibilities may have contributed to Smart getting switched onto opposition bigs.

If you’ve been listening to any of my podcasts in the last week or so, you’ve probably heard me mention the “veer-back.”
Where the guard moves to the roll-man and the big switches to the perimeter. Here’s a good illustration.

Nokia News – Quick Summary… — Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorNBA)…


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