5. Marcus Smart
Drafted sixth overall in the 2014 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart has established himself as a bulldog on both ends of the court. The 6-3 guard is shooting the ball more than ever, scoring at a career-high clip for a season (12.1 ppg) and making a case to repeat as a selection to the NBA All-Defense First Team.
Smart has been the emotional leader of a Boston Celtics squad that’s been full of All-Stars throughout his tenure, and his efforts on the court haven’t gone unnoticed by teammates.
“He challenges guys who are six, seven inches taller than him, which is crazy sometimes to me,” said teammate Kemba Walker to NBC Sports Boston recently. Smart’s teammates, in fact, are pushing for him to be recognized even more than his All-Defense First Team selection last season, saying he has a case for Defensive Player of the Year this year.
Marcus Smart picks SGA's pocket to seal the game ☘️ pic.twitter.com/KOE7EPqqjU
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 9, 2020
“He’s been special this year,” continued Walker. I don’t know if there’s many other guys better than him this year.”
While Marcus frequently shows unmatched passion on the court, sometimes he does have his theatric moments that just make you laugh:
Best Actor should have gone to Marcus Smart. ?
— theScore (@theScore) February 10, 2020
Anyone that’s willing to throw themselves completely on their back in hopes of drawing a foul call definitely deserves a spot as one of the most intense players in the league.
Next: No. 4