Patrick Beverley, Marcus Smart talk about being a great defender

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Perimeter defense is a priority in the NBA. Even if a team has Rudy Gobert back in the paint protecting the rim, if perimeter defenders are just getting blown by it sets a defense into scramble mode, and good teams will score (see the Clippers beating Gobert’s Jazz last postseason for an example).

The Celtics’ Marcus Smart and the Timberwolves Patrick Beverley — two of the better perimeter defenders in the league — recently discussed their defense and how they approach it.

The pesky, get-under-your-skin Beverley explained his tactic in about the most Beverley way possible in a conversation with Wolves Radio.

Timberwolves fans — and his teammates — are going to love him this season.

Smart responded to a Tweeted question from a fan about being a better defender with more of a blueprint about what it takes — and it’s not raw talent.

Much like Beverley, that is about the most Smart thing he could say. Want, passion, and intense competitiveness is at the heart of what makes Smart an elite defender.

Smart is going to get his chance this season as the starting point guard for the Celtics. If he keeps hitting his 3s, if Tatum takes a step forward out of the Olympics, and if this team can stay healthy, Boston could surprise some teams in the East.