Marcus Smart won the 2022 DPOY award, and there is no doubt that he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game. He was the starting point guard on this year's Celtics team that made the Finals, and without him, they simply wouldn't have been able to get that far.
Despite their relative success this year, people believe that the Boston Celtics need to replace Marcus Smart with a star point guard. Marcus Smart has recently clapped back at the idea, pointing out that the Celtics have had star point guards in the past, and he is "the only one that's led them to the Finals". Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relayed the news:
“I think I proved a little bit everything,” Smart said. “I hear the talks about ‘He’s not a true point guard’ and this and that. ‘They need a star point guard.’
“We’ve had star point guards, and yet this so-called non-point guard is the only one that’s led them to the Finals. I think that right there says enough. I don’t really need to say too much more. I think everybody sees and understands, finally, the person I really am, and what I can do given the opportunity.”
Smart chuckled and said he was not surprised that he continues to hear chatter about whether he is the right point guard for this offense. He said questions about whether he truly fits have followed him ever since he was drafted in 2014.
“And I’m still here,” he said. “I’m still the longest-tenured Celtic. So for me, I take it as a compliment. It means you’re valued pretty high, and if your name is talked about, people want you.
The Boston Celtics have had both Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker on their team during the Jayson Tatum - Jaylen Brown era. However, neither of them was able to help the team get over the hump, and Marcus Smart's point about leading the team to the Finals is valid. He is obviously a great player, and his defense is extremely valuable to a team.
It remains to be seen if the Boston Celtics end up getting back to the NBA Finals. There's no doubt that they will still be a contending team next season, and they clearly have the talent to potentially win it all. Ime Udoka has previously claimed that the team is only "getting started". Hopefully, they will get back to the highest stage, and this time, finish the job.