“I mean, you respond to fire with fire, right? We’ve just got to turn around and do the same thing,” Smart said, via Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. “If he’s going to come in here and try to be physical, this is our house and we’ve got to protect it.”
Smart added that he is the leader of the band for the Celtics in that area.
“Definitely. I mean, as any competitor would tell you, when you get hit in the mouth like that, there’s only one way to respond, and if you’re not really ready to do that, then you don’t need to be on this stage,” he said. “This is a stage where we’ve got to be willing to risk it all out there for your team and for the victory. By all means necessary. That’s the mindset that they have. It’s the mindset we have. But we’ve got to go out there and execute it.”
Coach Ime Udoka is also in favor of the Celtics imposing their own will.
“I think everybody knows everybody in this league by now,” Udoka said. “We’ve had several guys that have played with him with the Olympics, know him well enough. That’s part of our scouting report going into it, whether it’s Patrick Beverley or whoever the case may be, we always highlight a few things about guys. Everybody knows that going in. When their team is struggling, he sets the tone for them. That’s one of the ways he does it. But we embrace that. One of the best defensive teams, we like to impose our will, as well. I have to meet that with the same thing.”