It hasn't exactly been an easy road to the Finals for the Celtics.
In the first round of the playoffs, Boston faced Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. While they made light work of the Nets, Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks pushed the Celtics to seven games in the second round. Then, Jimmy Butler's Heat did the same in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Their reward? A Finals matchup with a Warriors team that is led by Stephen Curry.
A two-time MVP with eight All-Star selections, eight All-NBA selections, three championships and two scoring titles, Curry's credentials speak for themselves. He's fresh off of winning the inaugural Western Conference Finals MVP award, leading the Warriors to their sixth Finals appearance in eight seasons with averages of 23.8 points, 7.4 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Celtics had the best defensive rating in the NBA this season. Are they equipped to slow down Curry?
Who on the Celtics will guard Stephen Curry?
This isn't complicated: Marcus Smart will likely be the primary defender on Curry in the Finals.
Smart was named Defensive Player of the Year this season, making him the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in 1996. He's built like a brick wall at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he's tough as nails, he's highly disruptive and, well, he isn't afraid of anyone.
Not that a single player can shut down Curry, but there aren't many who match up with him as well as Smart does. Smart is well aware of how locked in you have to be to keep up with Curry — more on that below — and his size makes him incredibly difficult to beat off the dribble.
The numbers point to Smart having some success against Curry as well.
Of course, guarding Curry takes much more than one player, so it won't only be Smart to slow him down.