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It’s been a recurring phrase the last two years — the Boston Celtics are reeling. For years, the story has been that the Celtics have a bright future with two young All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Last year, the duo carried the Celts to a 36-36 record and a first-round playoff exit. This year, the team is 16-18 with patience running thin among fans. Although it’s not likely to push the Celtics over the hump, it might be worth granting veteran guard Marcus Smart his wish.

Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics have shown signs of frustration

The Celtics just might be the most underachieving team in the NBA. They probably were last year, too. A pair of young All-Stars should at least get you above .500, but that’s where the Celtics have been the last two seasons. Frustration has set in among fans, coaches, and players, including Smart, who called out Tatum and Brown earlier this year.

“Every team knows we’re trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen,” Smart said after the Celtics blew a 19-point lead in the second half against the Chicago Bulls. “Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball.

“That’s something that they’re going to learn. They’re still learning. We’re proud of the progress they’re making, but they’re going to have to make another step and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team to open up the court for them later down in the game.”

Losing hasn’t been the only problem for Boston. Effort has been questioned throughout the season, and it started during their home opener when they were embarrassed by the Toronto Raptors.

“We know why we lost,” Tatum said after the loss to the Raptors, according to Mass Live. “They just played harder than we did, played tougher. It wasn’t rocket science. We’re all professionals and we’re all adults. We understood what had happened.” 

It looks like the Boston Celtics won’t give Marcus Smart his wish

Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics brings the ball up the court during the first half of their game against the Utah Jazz on December 3, 2021, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. | Chris Gardner/Getty Images.

The Celtics need change. Whether it’s a major shakeup or adding another body to the bench, Boston needs to do something. If Smart got his wish, the Celtics would be bringing back an old friend.

When former Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on a 10-day contract, Smart wasn’t shy about saying he wished the Celtics would have done so.

“Just proud he gets another chance,” Smart said of Thomas, per Mass Live. He’s been doing everything he could to show the world he’s still IT. I think he was written off a little early. But that dude is a quiet warrior and I’m just happy somebody gave him a chance.

“Obviously, I wish it would have been us. I’m really close with IT, but I’m glad somebody gave it to him. I’m glad he didn’t give up. He’s still fighting and he’s still proving everybody wrong.”

Thomas played four games with the Lakers and averaged 9.3 points. The team did not re-sign him. Perfect opportunity for the Celtics to jump in on him with their roster depleted from COVID-19 protocols? Nope. The Dallas Mavericks are inking Thomas to a 10-day deal, according to Shams Charania.

Thomas would have given the Celtics a jolt


Marcus Smart Gets In the Boston Celtics’ Box Score Without Even Playing

Bringing Thomas back to Boston would not have vaulted the Celtic to the top of the Eastern Conference. What it would have done is bring some life back to the team and the crowd.

Thomas is a fan-favorite in Boston. Having his suit up again with Boston across his chest would have ignited some fire into TD Garden. Thomas has spent 11 seasons in the NBA. His two full years with the Celtics was where he shined brightest.

He was an NBA All-Star in both seasons, averaging 24.7 points. Thomas gutted out playoff performances after the sudden death of his young sister. He played through pain and won over the hearts of Boston fans.

Right now, the Celtics are playing as if they have no heart. There is nothing to get excited about. Having Thomas return may have sparked the team and its fans. For now, Smart’s wish — and the wish of many Celtics fans — will be left unfulfilled.