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 pesky, get-under-your-skin Beverley explained his tactic in about the most Beverley way possible in a conversation with Wolves Radio.
.@patbev21 on his defensive mindset & making opponents uncomfortable…
"People don't like to be touched and I like touching a lot of people."@wccoradio
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) September 17, 2021
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.
Takes little “talent” to play defense. Takes a wholelotta “want to”. Get every 50/50 ball. If you’re not quik defensively—get strong. Strength hides weaknesses. Take charges. Be a gr8 teammate. Compete. Never be ok w losing. No one remembers the 2nd US President. Only the 1st. https://t.co/98Lo5dkP9K
— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) September 17, 2021
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.