Marcus Smart gives interesting comparison for defensive mindset vs. Warriors

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Smart gives interesting comparison for his mindset guarding Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Marcus Smart’s mentality on the floor plus his physical athleticism is a lethal combination for pretty much anyone on the opposing team.

Ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year broke down his mindset facing the Warriors.

“For me, I would probably describe it as a lion out on the prowl hunting,” Smart told reporters on Saturday. “Playing against a team that’s been here and knows what it takes. They’re the hunted, we’re the hunters. We’re trying to get to their level and get to where they’re at. For me, I’m just out, I’m stealth, I’m waiting for my time to strike and my opportunity.”

The Celtics’ historic comeback win in Game 1 gave them the 1-0 lead in the series, but Smart anticipates Golden State will make adjustments for Game 2 at Chase Center Sunday.

Boston shot 50.6 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from the 3-point line in its impressive Game 1 victory.

Smart doesn’t think they’ll be given the same amount of space on Sunday.

“I wouldn’t say we were surprised,” Smart said. “When you have two great players in Jaylen [Brown] and Jayson [Tatum] on your team, everybody’s focused on those guys and make everyone else beat you and you live with the results. We understood it’s been like that for us this whole season, guys have really been making us prove it, so we just continue to do that.

“The adjustment I can see them making is just a little bit tighter on us, trying to make our shots even tougher, not that open. We’re basketball players just like those guys and we’re going to have to adjust to whatever they do just like they're going to have to adjust for us.”

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The Warriors will certainly need to make some type of adjustments to avoid another collapse and fall down 0-2 in the series.