Celtics: Projecting Brad Stevens’ Starting Five and Rotation

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Apr 1, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) controls the ball during the first half against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Point Guard: Marcus Smart

If there is any player on this Celtics’ roster who has the upside to become a superstar caliber of player, Marcus Smart is the guy. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Smart is a physical and aggressive player who is the obvious candidate to lead this team into the future.

With his size, Smart is a bit of a tweener. Considered by some to be too big for a point guard, yet too small for a two-guard. That being said, Smart uses his size and strength to his advantage against smaller point guards, and has the defensive awareness and obvious on-ball defensive skills to defend the shooting guard position as well.

Defensively, Smart is already an advanced player who Stevens and the Celtics can count on to successfully defend any player in the backcourt. He uses his size to his advantage against smaller players, and has enough short-space quickness to keep up with anyone. Smart has true elite upside as a perimeter defender.

Offensively, his game does leave a bit to be desired. Smart is a strong ball handler who can make plays in the lane. He also shows a nice ability to make plays with the pass and run an offense from the point guard position.

However, his shooting ability is a concern. While it has improved, Smart has never been a strong outside shooter, and on a team that lacks consistent outside shooting, that stands out. Also, his lack of ability to hit an outside shot hurts him as a legitimate option off the ball. Smart needs the ball in his hands to be a consistently effective offensive player.

All in all, Stevens knows that Smart must grow with this team if they are going to have any sort of championship aspirations this season. His defense alone makes Smart a solid player, but he has a chance to be a star if his offense can catch up quickly. Letting him grow as the commander of the Celtics’ offense would be a wise move by Stevens.

Next: Shooting Guard