Photo: The Ringer
By: Patrick Whalen
2018-19 Report Card:
For the next edition of Celtics Report Cards, we turn to the longest-tenured Celtics player Marcus Smart. smart has played the entirety of his first 5 seasons in Boston working his way up from a rotation player to the sixth man to spending the majority of last season as the starting shooting guard. coming into the year people had Smart pinned as a key piece of the “bench with attitude” that now-former Celtic Marcus Morris Sr coined them as. About 25 games into that season the two bench with attitude members became full-time starters for the rest of the year. Smart himself started 60 of the 80 games he played in last season.
Stat wise though Smart’s per-game averages did take a hit with the returns of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. His point per game dropped from 10.2 to 8.9, rebounds dropped from 3.5 to 2.9 and his assists dropped from 4.8 to 4. But he did set a new career-high averaging 1.8 steals per game which is one main reason why Smart made his first All NBA Defensive Team. But efficiency-wise Smart set career highs shooting the ball. He shot above 40% from the field for the first time in his career with a 42.2% field goal percentage. He also set a career-high from three-point range at 36.4%. Even his advanced shooting numbers were up as he shot above 50% for the first time ever with a 56.8% true shooting percentage.
Enough about Smart’s offense because we all know why we love him so much and that’s his hustle and grit on the defensive end. As I said earlier after being snubbed for the past two years Smart was finally named to the NBA All-Defensive team. Smart’s grit on the defensive end and hustle all around the court are the reason why I’m still going to give Marcus Smart an A- for the 2018-19 season. Smart truly bleeds green and gives every ounce of effort he has on the court. But I would like to see those rebound and assist numbers to go back up, I know he has become a better and more aggressive shooter but that can’t come at the cost of playing every aspect of the game.
Final Grade: A-
For 2019-20 I see a very similar year for Marcus Smart but this time from a sixth man role. I believe that Brad Stevens will go back to bringing Smart’s defensive grit and attitude off the bench for a change of pace or when they need to make a stop on defense. Offensively I think Smart will keep those shooting numbers up and benefit for getting open looks from Jayson Tatum and his new teammate Kemba Walker. Smart is already getting used to playing with Kemba as he is also apart of the team USA FIBA World Cup roster with Kemba, Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. I see Smart having another productive year bringing his fire and energy leading the Celtics all year long with his heart bleeding green.
Predictions for 2019-20:
PPG: 8.7 RPG: 3.3 APG: 4.4 FG%: 43.1% 3P%: 36.7% TS%: 57.2% STL: 1.9
NBA ALL Defensive Team Selection
Celtics TEAM CAPTAIN
Now let’s take a look back at why we love Marcus Smart so much.
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