Former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, the sixth overall pick by Boston, made his summer league debut on Saturday. After a rough first half in which he was scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting with just one assist, Smart finished with 10 points on 2-for-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three assists and one blocked shots against one turnover. Here’s some of what he said after the game.
Q: You got off to a rocky start but appeared to settle down and play more under control. What was the difference?
A: The first half, I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous. It was my first pro game, with a new group of guys. It was a little nerve-racking. But the second half, I got the jitters out and kind of calmed down and just went out there and just started playing.
You played a little bit at point guard and shooting guard. Where did you feel most comfortable?
I feel comfortable at both, really. We have a great guard with Phil (Pressey), so they decided to put me at (shooting guard), which, I was totally fine with that. I kind of got to get out in the open court, and it let me use my athleticism and physicality. But I was also fine playing (point guard) when they moved me to it and give Phil a break.
Do you think your defense, at least in these early stages, is a little bit ahead of your offensive game?
I think so. I was born and raised playing defense. Every team I’ve played with was a defensive-minded team first before offense. So there was always defense.
You were back-rimming a lot of shots in the first half. How do you explain that?
Nerves. But I’d rather be long than short. Everything was on line. It was just long. The second game, just adjust and keep shooting.
What’s been your best personal basketball moment since you went to college?
I’d probably have to say my 39-point game against Memphis at home. As an athlete and competitor, it’s the ultimate feeling to have that type of game, in the type of environment that Oklahoma State had. Gallagher-Iba, it’s really hard to play in, and we played against a really good team and a really good coach.