Boston Celtics: 3 bold predictions for the C’s first round playoff series

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics bold prediction No. 3: Marcus Smart will record three double-doubles this series (in points and assists)

Marcus Smart has finally made the breakthrough as the Celtics true point guard this season. While his defense has rarely been questioned, his offense has always been middling at best. But this season Smart finally broke through thanks to an uptick in passing and a reduction of the number of wild threes he would toss up per game.

Smart is going to have his hands full guarding Kyrie Irving in this game, but we should all know by now that Smart is going to whatever he can to slow him down. Offensively, Smart is going to have a matchup in Irving to exploit, and whether or not Smart can control the offense is going to play a large part in the outcome of this series.

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Since returning from a COVID related absense in the middle of January, Smart has taken his game to the next level. His statline (12.8 PPG, 6.5 APG, 3.6 RPG, 44.7 FG%) is pretty much exactly what the Celtics envisioned he would be producing when they made him the team’s starting point guard over the prior offseason. He’s going to have to play at a similar level against the Nets.

Smart’s passing and playmaking have both drastically improved during this time, and his ability to hit his open teammates is a big reason the offense got out of it’s early season funk. The Nets are going to be giving Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown a lot of attention throughout this series, so it will be up to the rest of the team to support them. And piggybacking off that, it’s Smart’s responsibility to get the ball in the hands of his open teammates.

Smart has a ton of responsibility this series, and based on how good he has been this season, here’s betting he delivers. He only had one points/assists double-double this season, but he’s going to carve up a porous Nets defense all series long, and pick up three of them along the way. Smart is going to have a lot of room to operate, and he should be able to take advantage of it.