first_imgSteam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Since returning from thumb surgery late in the first round, Smart has been unflappable and Boston’s unquestioned deacon of toughness.From sacrificing his body diving for loose balls or keeping plays alive with a rebound , to causing deflections on defense, to popping up out of the crowd for a timely rebound or tip-in, Smart is the proud everyman for a once underdog Celtics team that has outworked the Cavaliers through the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“That’s me. That’s how I was raised,” said Smart, who was Boston’s top performer off the bench in the Celtics’ 107-94 Game 2 win with 11 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals. “I’m the youngest of four boys. My whole life I had to fight.“I had to get down and do things in order to secure my spot in the household. So coming onto the court it’s nothing different.” View comments Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina “As long as she’s fighting I’m going to continue fighting.”It’s the kind of toughness that has always run deep in the Smart family. His mother also has been through quadruple-bypass surgery on her heart.She wants her son exactly where he is.“She told me she’d rather me be here than back there, doing what I love to do,” Smart said, “because she loves watching me play. She said it puts a smile on her face.”Along with a lot of other Boston fans.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Behind China-bound import, blistering Hotshots turn Columbian Dyip into a wreck Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) reaches to slap hands with forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, May 13, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON — Celtics coach Brad Stevens has said what has carried his team through the NBA postseason is its ability to make “winning plays” with the game on the line.And more times than not, it’s been Marcus Smart making them.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate fallscenter_img In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Boston took a 2-0 series lead on the Bucks in the first round before dropping back-to-back games in Milwaukee. Smart came off the bench when the series swung back to Boston for Game 5. He finished that one with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks to help the Celtics pull out a five-point victory.Boston is 8-2 since Smart’s return and has the Cavaliers facing their first 2-0 series hole since 2008, when they lost 4-3 to the Celtics in the conference semifinals. Boston went on to win the NBA title that season.Not bad for a guy taken sixth overall by Boston in the 2014 draft despite being criticized coming out of Oklahoma State for being undersized at 6-foot-4, having questionable ball-handling and poor 3-point shooting, and at times displaying uncontrollable emotions.“I think he’s as tough as they come,” Stevens said. “He matches his intensity with a physical toughness. … People talk about him all the time. Sometimes they focus on things that don’t matter, and the other times they focus on that he impacts winning.”Smart showed all those attributes late in the fourth quarter Tuesday night against the Cavs, when he came to the defense of Al Horford after JR Smith shoved him in the back on a layup attempt. Smart got in Smith’s face, prompting Smith to shove him. Both received technical fouls. But having a teammate’s back is second nature to Smart.ADVERTISEMENT He said he felt like Smith was being a bully . That has never played well in Smart’s orbit.“One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it,” he said.From a basketball standpoint, Cleveland has taken note of Smart’s impact.LeBron James called Smart’s creativity on the court “uncanny,” and Kevin Love said the Cavs can “definitely learn” from what Smart and Boston are doing to them.“I think Marcus always makes plays at the right time,” James said. “They put the ball in his hands and they trust him to make plays for others.”Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Smart’s impact is clearly something they must combat as they try to hold serve at home beginning with Game 3 on Saturday.“If it’s 50/50 balls, he’s going to get it. If it’s a loose ball, offensive rebound they need to have, he’s going to get it,” Lue said. “We’ve got to be able to find someone who can match his toughness.”The most impressive thing about Smart’s run might be that he’s doing it while his mother, 63-year old Camellia Smart, is battling bone marrow cancer.Smart learned of her diagnosis during a visit to see her in Texas back in April.“We’re just trying to preserve life,” Smart said recently of how she’s doing. “At her age a transplant would probably be more harmful than good. … It’s tough, but my mom’s a tough cookie.last_img