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Marcus Smart on Avery Bradley: ‘He reminds me a little bit of [me]’

WALTHAM — Marcus Smart is beginning to feel comfortable in Boston. Well, at least in the gym that is.

“Definitely,” Smart responded after being asked if the practice facility was beginning to feel like his own gym. “I’€™m knocking down shots on those rims now,”€ said Smart, while gesturing over to the nearest hoop, “so that’€™s good. I’€™m getting a little bit more comfortable day-by-day.”

Outside of workouts and practices is a whole different story for Smart.

“Nah,”€ Smart said, while shaking his head when asked if he had gotten a chance to explore Boston yet. “Especially with the two-a-days — we finish around seven [o’€™clock] –€“ you’€™re pretty much tired. You get your workout and go to bed and start it all over again.”

Smart was expecting the NBA lifestyle to be this way, though.

“This is your life. This is your job,” Smart proclaimed. “If you want to be the best, you have to put in the work.”

Avery Bradley [1] has put in the work over his young NBA career. The 23-year-old was rewarded Wednesday with a 4-year deal worth $32 million. Bradley, like Rajon Rondo [2], is a player Smart can relate to.

“He reminds me a little bit of [me],” Smart said. “You know, physical, athletic, can defend the one, the two, or the three spot. [I can] do whatever coach [Brad Stevens [3]] asks me to do.”

The Bradley defensive comparisons are not farfetched. Jared Sullinger admitted that he was surprised by Smart’€™s abilities on that side of the ball. That’€™s because defense has always been a part of Smart’€™s game.

“That was a big pride,” Smart said, speaking on his defense in college. “That’€™s what we wanted to do. Make our identity as a defensive team, and we tried. We had some things that happened, but we were still one of the best defensive teams in college. It was a big pride of mine and I just wanted to make sure I could carry that over at the next level.”

Needless to say, Smart is excited to have the chance to team up with Bradley in the backcourt.

“As a competitor, you want somebody who’€™s going to be out there competing with you that you know will have your back. Not only on the offensive end, but on the defensive end. Avery does that. He holds himself and everybody else accountable.”

Smart may be starting to feel at home in the practice facilities, but he is still waiting to have that feeling about his new city.

“No, not at all,”€ Smart revealed when asked if any fans had recognized him yet in public. “Like I said, I haven’€™t really been out outside of the gym.”

Knowing Smart’€™s work ethic, it comes as no shock that he’€™s hardly left the gym. But with expectations as high as they are for him, Smart can expect to be recognized soon. Even if he just leaves the gym for a second.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow [4]