Over the next few weeks, I will be analyzing and grading different Celtics players. I will take account of each player’s development over their career while looking more closely at what they produced this season. We’ll continue this series with Marcus Smart.
Marcus Smart was drafted sixth overall by the Celtics back in 2014. Almost immediately he was thrust into the starting lineup or would come off the bench as the sixth man. Smart’s defense has always been dominant, so he saw the floor more than other rookies.
Smart being able to play a lot early in his career benefitted him a lot because it gave him more experience of being a player and a leader. In the past few seasons, Smart has taken on a massive leadership role for the Celtics.
Just a year ago, Smart signed a four-year, 52 million dollar contract to stay in Boston. Entering this season, Smart has significantly improved his three-point shooting and ball handling. He’s now arguably the best defensive guard in the league.
Playmaking – Marcus Smart is the ultimate playmaker. He flies around the court all game, making crazy plays along the way.
Passing – Smart has always been a good passer, however this year he’s taken it to a whole new level. Behind the back passes, no-look passes, ally-oops, Smart does it all.
Defense – Smart is one of the best defenders in the league. He shuts down opposing guards, averages 1.6 steals per game, and isn’t afraid of blocking players at the rim.
Rebounding – It doesn’t matter if a 7-footer is sitting in the paint, Smart will either grab the rebound or strip the ball away from those who got it.
Finishing – Smart is crafty around the rim and extremely good at getting to the free-throw line.
Flopping – This might not seem like a strength, but Marcus Smart uses the “flop” very effectively. He gets opponents in foul trouble and shifts the momentum of the game.
Free throws – Smart shoots around 84 percent from the free-throw line.
Areas for Improvement
Shooting – Although Smart doesn’t take many shots per game, shooting 38 percent from the field is way low for a guard.
Durability – There isn’t much Smart can do to improve his durability. His style of play comes with a greater chance of injury.
Marcus Smart is one of the most underrated players in the league. However, if you take a closer look at what he does for the Celtics every game, you can see how valuable he really is. Smart does it all on the defensive end, has become a fabulous passer, and has improved his three-point shooting this season.