One NBA writer strongly disagrees with Smart winning DPOY. Here's why…


Marcus Smart becoming the first guard since Gary Payton to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year isn't sitting well with some critics.

One NBA writer voicing his displeasure with Smart winning DPOY is Meadowlark Media's Tom Haberstroh. Tuesday on the Dan Le Batard Show, Haberstroh explained why he believes the Boston Celtics guard wasn't worthy of the award.

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"It is egregious that Marcus Smart in 2022 is considered the best defensive player of the year," Haberstroh said. "I don't understand what exactly happened here beyond the fact that Robert Williams got hurt. Because on March 22, Marcus Smart was +4000, eighth-place odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

"What happened a few days later? Robert Williams got hurt and the NBA voting cohorts got lazy and said, 'Well, who's the best defensive team in the NBA? It's Boston. OK, who's the most actively or visually defensive player on that team? It's Marcus Smart,' who's also the guy who's a routine anti-flop rule violator."

Haberstroh went on to state his case for why Smart's numbers aren't worthy of the DPOY honor. You can watch the full clip of his rant below:

He didn't stop there. In fact, he went as far as to say Smart doesn't help the Celtics' defense since the team's defensive rating without him (105.2) is the same with him on the court.

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It's a hot take, to say the least, and one made by someone who may not have watched many Celtics games this season. Those who followed Boston's 2021-22 campaign closely, especially during their incredible second-half stretch, know Smart's defensive value goes far beyond the advanced metrics. His presence was the biggest reason the C's boasted the top-rated defense in the NBA during their ridiculous run.

Haberstroh is far from the only NBA expert to disagree with Smart winning the award, but the longest-tenured Celtic isn't sweating it.

"I've always said that without those naysayers, doubters or what we like to call haters, I wouldn't be able to go out there and do what I do,” Smart said on Monday. "It inspires me to continue to strive to be the greatest I can be at what I do. What I have to say to them is thank you, keep it up.”

Smart will look to silence the critics yet again Wednesday night when the C's host the Brooklyn Nets for Game 2 of their first-round series. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston.

Note: Games 2-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

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