Boston, MA– After a disappointing Boston Celtics season, I definitely did not anticipate that any of the players, coaches, or executives would be eligible for any NBA season in review-based honors or awards. Coach Brad Stevens could never pull the team together and a number of other coaches were experts this season, which definitely barred him from Coach of the Year. Gordon Hayward struggled far too frequently to ever be considered for Comeback Player of the Year. Even Kyrie Irving seemed like a fringe contender to be named to an All-NBA team before placement on the Second Team, never mind MVP consideration that floated around Boston when he was named an All-Star starter back in February.

But I have to admit when I am wrong and I certainly stand corrected now! Marcus Smart, the five year veteran of the NBA and one of Boston’s top performing guards, was named to the All-Defensive First Team, which is an awesome honor for him indeed. Often times, voters tend to lean towards big names for the defensive honors, which is not to say that they are not worthy, but it does mean that a lot of stellar defenders can often get overlooked.

Not this year, though! Boston’s top hustler and player who gives his all on every single play on the court, Smart, has finally received his due with this honor! Not only did he always make the Celtics defense better when he was on the court, but he was also sixth place in the league when it came to steals, with 1.8 per game. The official Celtics Twitter feed also shared a number of stellar Smart plays from the year.

Joining Smart on the team are Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo, both of the Milwaukee Bucks, Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Obviously, we are a bit biased here in Boston, but I have no doubt that Smart definitely deserves to be among this group! Boston has always loved hustlers and hopefully, despite a flurry of trade rumors, Smart will have the chance to be beloved by Celtics fans for years to come.