Marcus Smart. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- With Jaylen Brown nursing a tailbone injury, Brad Stevens inserted Marcus Smart into the Celtics' starting lineup last night and it paid off in a 124-107 win in New Orleans.
Smart played a season-high 40 minutes in his first start of the year. He'd only reached 30 once this season, and hadn't touched 40 in a game since the 2017 playoffs. The guard only chipped in 8 points and 5 assists but, as usual, his intensity, energy, effort, and defensive prowess were instigating factors for the Green.
Stevens appreciated Smart's contributions, as well as those of Aron Baynes, who was solid in 20 minutes off the bench.
"Marcus brings, and Baynes, they bring such level of grit to our group, and I think I wanted to see what that would look like with Marcus in the starting lineup," Stevens said. "We won't be settled on the starting lineup 'til forever."
Kyrie Irving was very complimentary of Smart postgame. The point guard enjoyed having him at shooting guard while they shared the floor.
Don't be surprised if Smart starts again when the C's host the Cavaliers Friday, even if Brown returns.
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports