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ESPN Analyst Names Biggest "X-Factor" In Celtics-Heat Series

Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum at midcourt.

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Jayson Tatum #0 reacts with Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the Eastern Conference first round series against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on May 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The Eastern Conference Finals is knotted up at 1-1 following the Boston Celtics' 125-102 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday. Heading into Game 3, one ESPN analyst believes there's an X-factor that could decide the series.

On Friday's edition of Get Up, ESPN's Tim Legler spoke glowingly about Celtics point guard Marcus Smart. Legler believes that Smart's combination of defense and shooting gives Boston something that Miami may not have.

“When he’s making shots, he’s the single biggest x-factor in the Eastern Conference," Legler said. "You know what he's going to give you defensively... On top of it, he's making shots, he's making plays and he's running the show."

Smart had 24 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and three steals in Game 2. He had previously missed Game 1 with an injury.

Marcus Smart has averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game during these playoffs. He's had three double-doubles so far and only one game where he scored less than 10 points.

But injuries are proving to be a bit of a hassle for the newly-minted Defensive Player of the Year. He's missed two games so far in the playoffs, though Boston have managed to play well without him.

He may really be the biggest X-factor in the Celtics-Heat series.

Do you agree? Will Marcus Smart's play decide the Eastern Conference Finals?