(via CNN International)

After their third-straight win against Philadelphia, the Boston Celtics have put themselves in a strong position to secure themselves a ticket to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the backbones of the team, that much is no mystery.

But when it comes to setting the tone on the defensive end, Marcus Smart is the man for Boston. Smart already received his first-ever NBA All-Defensive Team citation last year and he’s likely due for plenty more before it’s all said and done.

Following the Game 3 win, he went so far as to call himself the best defender in the NBA…

Smart doesn’t get any points in the humility department, but when talking about the best defenders in basketball, his name definitely belongs right up there.

He’s always making great plays for Boston and has become a core member of the team. That is becoming clear in this current series against Philadelphia.

Going forward, Boston will need him at his best if they want to stand a chance against the other elites in the East.

Right now, it honestly looks like the Celtics can hang with anyone.