Marcus Smart agrees with the theory that a shallow rotation left the Celtics exhausted by the time they reached the NBA Finals, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Smart, who admitted that he still rewatches the Finals to see what he could have done differently, said the team exacerbated the problem by getting off to a slow start and not playing to its potential until January.
Smart likes the offseason additions the Celtics made, though Danilo Gallinari may be lost for the season with a torn ACL. Smart heard his name mentioned in Kevin Durant trade rumors this summer, but he’s thankful that he wasn’t moved and that the core of the team has remained intact.
“For someone who’s always talked about in trade talks, I didn’t really pay too much mind to that. Until it actually happens, I don’t believe it,” Smart said. “We can sit here and say this person said this, but we don’t even know who said it. It’s like a telephone game. By the time it gets back to you, you don’t know what changed and who said what. Until it actually happens, I try to pay trade rumors no mind.”
There’s more from Boston:
- In an interview with Bobby Manning of CLNS Media, Smart revealed that he’s still feeling the effects of injuries from last season’s playoffs. He suffered a sprained right foot in the Eastern semifinals and a sprained right ankle in the conference finals. He also had to miss Game 2 of the Bucks series after aggravating a right thigh injury. “My ankle is feeling better, it’s still healing, so I’m dealing with that,” Smart said. “Just giving it as much rest as I can, but definitely back on the court. I’m definitely back into the action. It feels like yesterday we just started playing, we haven’t really missed a beat, but I’m definitely doing everything I can to be ready for next season and to go deeper. I’m pretty close (to 100%), obviously it’s September, you don’t want to be in June, July, May shape right now so I’m trying not to go too crazy, but I’m really close and I’ve been doing this going into my ninth season.”
- Grant Williams‘ hopes for a contract extension will be impacted by the three-year, $33MM deal that Maxi Kleber got from the Mavericks, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Robb believes Williams would be better off taking what he can get in an extension rather than dealing with the unpredictability of restricted free agency.
- Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston examines the battle for roster spots at Celtics training camp and views Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet, Mfiondu Kabengele, JD Davison and Jake Layman as having the best shot at making the team.