May 7, 2017 by adamburt13
Marcus Smart is averaging eight points and over thirty minutes per game in 9 playoff games this postseason. (Courtesy of Mark J. Rebelis / USA Today Sports)
Written by Adam Burt
Since being drafted by the Celtics as the 6th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Marcus Smart has had a very love hate relationship with Boston fans. Smart has seen limited starting time has had his good days and bad days in Boston, but I have a feeling his best days have yet to come.
Marcus is a key piece to this gritty Celtics team; mostly playing the role of a reliable bench player or 6th man. Now he isn’t the type of guard that you normally see in the league today. Smart is more of a heads up kind of player, a guard who has a great basketball IQ and will show you very tight defense and some great passing skills.
Some fans such as myself admire that style of play, and some others don’t tend to like guards if they can’t pull up and hit their jumper from downtown on a consistent basis. It’s the sometimes late game heroics, unreal assists, and aggressiveness that earns Smart his praise throughout the city of Boston from his fans, coaches and teammates.
The Celtics now find themselves in a very heated series with the Washington Wizards in the second round of the NBA playoffs. Boston was able to escape the Chicago Bulls to get to this point coming back from an 0-2 series deficit to take the series after winning four straight games. Now in midst of battling a newer rival the Celtics lead the series against the Wizards 2-1.
But a lot of critics are out after Marcus Smart again saying he needs to pick his game up as he finds himself struggling a bit early in this tough Washington series, which is true. Smart in game three played the most minutes out of any other Celtic off the bench (25) and only managed to score nine points shooting 2-9 from the field while racking up only two assists and four rebounds. Now in 25 minutes of play in such a key game fans are not standing for these off nights from Smart. But I don’t believe people should go into panic mode about the kid.
Smart is still a great young talent for the team. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens recently commented about Smarts struggles, “Ultimately, they find their way out. I think, at the end of the day, Marcus is a huge part of our team. Marcus knows he’s a huge part of our team. We know he’s a huge part of our team. And we trust he’s going to play great.” Stevens also stated “It’s the competitiveness that makes him who he is. And it’s a passion that makes him who he is. There can be mistakes with effort that come from that and that’s OK. That’s what we love about him.”
Being only 23 years old and being to the playoffs twice in his young career now, he shows the heart, hustle and competitiveness of any veteran in the league. With all of the key parts of his game being shown on a nightly basis and his continuous work on his shooting, Smart will only keep getting better for this Boston Celtics team. He clearly has a lot of fans and the coaching staff behind him. No need to hit the panic button yet and bash the kid to the extent some fans have already gone.