Fauria: Marcus Smart is Celtics' most important player

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There is perhaps no more polarizing player on the Celtics.

Marcus Smart is a conversation-starter.

The Celtics' guard offered another dose of debate with his play in the first two games since the NBA's return. In Game 1, a Celtics' loss to the Bucks, Smart seemed to be one of the key elements for Brad Stevens' club, going 7-for-11 from the field for 23 points in 32 minutes while guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo much of the time. Game 2, a win, witnessed the 26-year-old play one more minute than in the first tilt (33) while netting just three points on 0-for-4 shooting.

Smart's naysayers will point these two games and scream about the inconsistency. 

Not Christian Fauria.

The OMF host is taking the side of those who believe Smart is the straw that stirs the Celtics' drink.

"I think Marcus Smart is the most important person on that team," Fauria said. "I think he is more important than Tatum. I think he is more important than Jaylen Brown. I think he is more important than Brad Stevens. I think he is more important than Kemba Walker. He is the most important person, and here's why: I look at him and I'm not even trying to pay attention to him but every single time that guy gets into the game, every single time, he immediately makes an impact on the game."

Fauria's co-host Lou Merloni did not concur.

"He is a role player," Merloni said. " A very important role player on a winning team. A role player."

Fauria's retort?