Celtics’ Marcus Smart snubbed from SI’s Top 100 NBA players of 2018 list

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25: Marcus Smart
BOSTON, MA - MAY 25: Marcus Smart /

Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” has revealed its list of the Top 100 NBA Players of 2018 and one of the biggest snubs is Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart.

While there is certain to be a trio of players included in the Crossover’s Top 100 NBA players of 2018 list, one Boston Celtics player made the list of this season’s biggest snubs.  That player, of course, is Marcus Smart.

Why no love for the fourth-year guard out of Oklahoma State?

As good as Smart is defensively, his inconsistency shooting the ball was the primary reason he didn’t crack the top 100.

Here is what Ben Golliver of The Crossover had to say:

"“Man, Smart hoisted a lot of bricks last season, posting the worst shooting percentage of any player attempting at least 600 shots (35.9%) and the worst three-point shooting percentage of any player attempting at least 300 shots from behind the arc (28.3%). But Boston’s 23-year-old guard compensated for those blanks with hard-nosed on-ball defense, an endless stream of hustle rebounds in traffic, regular doses of opportunistic passing and, yes, many aggravating flops that helped him rank fifth in charges drawn last season.”"

Golliver went on to note that Smart will have an opportunity to become of on the NBA’s breakout stars this upcoming season due to the number of moves the Celtics made.

Along with the signing of Gordon Hayward and the blockbuster trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston, the team also traded shooting guard Avery Bradley.  Smart will have an opportunity to fill the defensive void left by Bradley.  With the scoring both Irving and Hayward bring to the team, Smart could see more scoring opportunities.

Related Story: Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart is emerging as a leader

Smart should definitely have made the list

While I understand this was a tough list to compile, Marcus Smart is a player who should’ve ranked in the top 100.

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I do agree with his offensive inconsistency, but the amount of toughness the 23-year-old guard brings to the court is undeniable.  His intensity and versatility on the defensive end of the court allowed Celtics head coach Brad Stevens to play small ball, providing mismatches on the offensive side of the court.

In fact, he brought the same amount of toughness (if not more) as former teammate Jae Crowder, who did make the list at No. 44.  In my opinion, Smart should not be that far off.  Although the two play different positions and Crowder was a more consistent shooter, Smart was the player who stepped up in the playoffs and led the Boston Celtics to their lone victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

That was the game where Marcus Smart showed what kind of player he could be in this league with a more consistent offensive game.  This upcoming season, he hopes to build on that glimpse of playoff success as a complete NBA player.

Next: Boston Celtics: The 50 Greatest Players of All Time

To note, the list does not include first-year players and is a subjective assessment of player projections based on data collected from their 2017 performances on the court.