Marcus Smart is showing he can be a two-way player for the Boston Celtics.
There have always been doubts about Marcus Smart throughout his entire NBA career. Mostly being that his style of play doesn’t fit in today’s NBA. But for the last six years now, Smart and the Boston Celtics have proved to believe otherwise.
Marcus Smart is the leader and he sets the tone for the Boston Celtics. What people fail to realize is that it takes a great amount of energy and determination to go through a twenty-four second circuit where you’re playing on your man or the ball the entire time. But Marcus is able to do it to perfection.
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As of lately, Smart has always been in the conversation for potentially winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, but his hard work finally paid off in 2019 when Smart made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career. Earning first team honors would only set the bar for Marcus Smart.
This season, Smart has become one of the better two-way players on the Celtics and maybe even in the entire league. His elite efforts on defense will never be a point of concern, but he’s having a career year on offense. Smart is shooting the ball extremely well and confidently throughout the first half of the season.
Smart is paving the way to have career highs in almost every statistical category this season, including shooting 37 percent from the field and 35 percent from behind the arc just before the All-Star break. He has become very confident in his progressions as a 3-point shooter this season and even set the Boston Celtics franchise record for the most made 3-pointers in a single game (11).
Smart’s newfound shooting over the course of this season has been exactly what the Boston Celtics have needed during some critical moments during the season. Smart comes to play every night, especially during the games without Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, or Gordon Hayward.
As he stated at the beginning of the season, he wanted to be a “stretch-six” and to be relied on to do whatever is necessary. That includes playing all five positions in a game, which he hasn’t really struggled with at all.
Smart has found a groove for himself during the month of January and has reached twenty plus points four times this season, all in January. There are times it seems like he’s taking way too many shots.
Considering how the season has unfolded with injuries to key players, who else is supposed to take those shots other than Marcus? He feeds off his own energy and production while seeming to be more of a volume shooter than he gets credit for.
More importantly, Marcus Smart is having fun this season and it shows. He’s smiling much more and it’s become infectious throughout the locker room and translates onto the court.