Boston's rumoured interest in the five-time All-Star has been well documented and are better positioned than many other National Basketball Association teams to put together an attractive package for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The momentum from that game seems to have carried over in both directions as those teams prepare to meet again Wednesday night in New Orleans.
"It's not anything that I'm going to have a say-so in or anything else, so we don't bother about it". For the Celtics, a trade package would also have to include Kyrie Irving for this season at least, because of a particular complication. It has led to questions whether Boston could look at making a move before the trade deadline and Ainge has proved in the past he isn't afraid of bold decisions. "Put Anthony (Davis) at the point guard". Instead, New Orleans committed 22 turnovers in a 124-107 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Davis, 25, is off to another MVP-type of start.
"Any time you do anything like that [the noise is coming]", Davis said.
Around the rim: Boston's Terry Rozier scored 14 points.
New Orleans trailed almost the entire game, falling behind early because of eight first-quarter turnovers that led to 11 Celtics points. But the Celtics did not buckle from the pressure and hit a barrage of threes to stem the tide.
"We don't impose our fear and will on teams", Smart said. Their current average margin of victory, plus-2.1 points, is what we would expect from a 45-win team.
"Of course, I know that in order to win games, a lot of pressure is going to be on me", Davis said.
"You're nearly at that rock bottom point where the team is about to blow up", Kyrie Irving said, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. We did pretty well with our unit tonight. "We've got to get back to who we are".
Irving raised a some eyebrows a few weeks ago when he did not mention Smart in a laundry list of players who needed to step up as leaders.
Nikola Mirotic was perhaps the only New Orleans player to have an above-average night offensively, raining in three-pointers after the Pelicans dug themselves a big early hole on the scoreboard. So we expect him to be in the right spots and doing the right things. "We've got to find a way to take it on the road now".
Irving had five steals, while Tatum and Horford each had three. Up next, they'll battle the Cavaliers on Friday night. Still, there's plenty of time for the Celtics to get back on track.
Brad Stevens: "We won't be settled on a starting lineup ... until forever".
But it's clear that for now, the Celtics need Marcus Smart, his defense, and most importantly, his energy, on the floor to start games.