Smart said, “Pop was like, ‘You’re one of our best shots to guard Giannis. Do what you do.'”
Just watch Marcus Smart work on Giannis and then fly into a closeout. That’s right around his season averages and against Giannis, keeping him in check is considered a win and much of that can be credited to Smart. “Every time I’m boxing him out, he’s trying to throw me out the way. It lets me know he’s frustrated, I’m getting to him, especially when he’s not getting to the ball, or he’s not getting to the rim, or he’s not getting the shots that he usually gets.”
It’s what we love about Smart and why players hate going against him.
However, as much as Smart limited Antetokounmpo, there was a glaring absence in the regular season games that could tip the scales in Boston’s direction if the two teams clashed in the playoffs.