Most casual NBA fans only think of Marcus Smart as a defensive ace, but the Boston Celtics guard has become a capable player on offense as well.
Don’t lie, you did. So did I, but Smart is no longer a liability on the offensive end of the court and its part of the reason why the Celtics are one of the best teams in the NBA.
Since the start of last year, Smart has improved his 3-point shooting drastically. Prior to that, he hadn’t shot over 33 percent from beyond the arc since his rookie year.
However, in the last two seasons he’s shot 36.4 percent and 35.3 percent respectively from outside. This has helped Smart average a career-high 12.5 points per game this season.
This is a trend that needs to continue if the Celtics are going to make any noise in the playoffs, as Smart keeping the defense honest with his outside shot opens things up on offense for the Boston Celtics.
Instead of just letting Smart shoot it, which opposing teams are doing far less now, they need to respect his improvement in that area.
Not only is Smart’s perimeter shooting respectable now, but his playmaking is one of the more underrated aspects of his game. He averages 4.8 assists per game this season, which is consistent with his career mark, but the passes he is making is what has been catching eyes recently.
It’s no mistake that Smart’s AST/TO ratio of 2.92 is also the best of his career right now. Plays like his behind the back pass to Daniel Theis are becoming a regularity, and it has been a treat to watch.
Smart isn’t without his flaws still. His touch around the rim is still mediocre and his midrange game needs work as well, as evidenced by his 2P percent of 42.2.
However, he averages more 3-point attempts than he does 2-point attempts which speaks volumes about his understanding of his weaknesses.
Followers of the Boston Celtics already know how much better Smart has gotten on offense, and he will need to keep it up in order for the Celtics to remain one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference Even with his glaring deficiencies from inside the arc, he is still one of the best players on the team.
Combining Smart’s improvements offensively with his All-NBA caliber defense gives the Boston Celtics an underrated overall player. Most teams and fanbases around the league already respect Smart’s peskiness on defense, but when the playoffs roll around he has an opportunity to prove he is more than just an elite defender to the average viewer.