Boston Celtics

May 13, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) gestures during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks during game six of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

  • Earlier this offseason, Marcus Smart became the first guard since Gary Payton in 1996 to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. While that will likely be the highlight of his individual post-season awards, it’s not his only one.

    On Friday night, the NBA announced the 2021-2022 All-Defense teams, and Smart was at the top of the list. With 99 first-place votes and 198 points, Smart received more recognition than any other player in the league, landing him in a first-team guard spot.

    This is the third All-Defense nod for Smart, all coming in the last four years. He was also named All-Defense First Team in 2019 and 2020.

  • Smart isn’t the only Celtics player represented on the All-Defense teams. Robert Williams received three first-place votes and 64 second-place votes, which earned him the Second Team All-Defense center spot. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was named to the First Team.

    Williams finished the season averaging a career-high 2.2 blocks per game in 61 games. That ranked second in the NBA behind Jaren Jackson Jr. of Memphis, who was named First Team All-Defense as a forward.

    This is the first All-Defense nod and the first postseason recognition of any kind for Williams in his NBA career. He was a two-time SEC Defensive player of the Year during his time at Texas A&M.

    While no other Celtics players were named to the All-Defense team, the team’s other three starters all received votes. Jayson Tatum earned one first-place vote and two second place votes, and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford got one first-place vote each.

    It’s not surprising to see the Celtics so well represented in this voting. They allowed a league-low 104.3 points per game this season, and 102.5 points per game since January 1.

    The Celtics will look to lean on that defense with a chance to take a lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. That series shifts back to Boston on Saturday tied at 1-1. Coverage of Game 3 begins at 8:00 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the 98.5 The Sports Hub Celtics Radio Network.