Kevin Love's description of Marcus Smart's value to Celtics is spot-on

Darren Hartwell

You don't have to tell Marcus Smart's teammates he's one of the Boston Celtics' most important players, even if he doesn't stuff the stat sheet.

The same apparently goes for Smart's opponents.

Kevin Love endured the Marcus Smart Experience on Tuesday night, as the 6-foot-3 Smart matched up on the 6-foot-8 Cleveland Cavaliers forward for much of the night.

Love finished with 17 points, but Smart still limited him when it counted, stopping the veteran forward on a key possession late in the fourth quarter of Boston's 119-113 win.

When asked about Smart's defense after the game, Love gave an excellent description of why the Celtics guard is so valuable to his team.

"Oh, he's tough. ... What they lack in size, they make up in effort," Love said. "Like, they'll put him on the top player on every team. He'll guard LeBron (James), he'll guard Giannis (Antetokounmpo), he'll guard James Harden, he'll guard Steph Curry. I mean, that's what he gets paid to do.

"He's really tough out there. He can guard anybody 1 through 5, and he's a difference-maker for the team."

Love then compared Smart to Cleveland's own scrappy playmaker, Matthew Dellavedova.

"At his size, I think him and Delly are very comparable," Love added, "because you can really stick them on anybody, and no matter what every single night, they're going to bring it.

"And some of the time, they're going to win you games just off being them and having energy, but also doing a lot of things aren't going to show up in the stat sheet. So, (Smart) does an unbelievable job every night."

Celtics fans would tell you Smart brings a lot more to the table than Dellavedova, who's averaging just 16.8 minutes per game to Smart's 32.0.

But Love's point is well-taken, and the Cavs veteran is one of many NBA stars who have been victimized by Smart's "winning plays."

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Kevin Love's description of Marcus Smart's value to Celtics is spot-on originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston