Celtics coach Ime Udoka lays out bold plan for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart
New Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka sure has a load of talent at his disposal. But after a string of underwhelming stints, the Celtics could really use a revamped game plan.
For Udoka, there’s no question that Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart can produce, but are they maximizing their skills? For the Celtics tactician, with the way the NBA landscape these days, his three main cogs should further develop their playmaking skills (via NBC Sports Boston).
“I see a lot of guys that were kind of you’re turn, my turn at times and I think the next step in their evolution is being playmakers in general. Marcus (Smart) hasn’t always been the starting point guard or a guy who’s had the ball in his hands a ton, and he’s yearning for that. So we’ll entrust in him to have more responsibility on his hands. Jayson and Jaylen, like I’ve mentioned quite a few times, trying to make those guys better playmakers. They’re pretty natural scorers.”
Singling out Smart should mean that he’ll finally get the starting point guard role he’s been coveting. Even though the Celtics acquired Dennis Schroder from the Los Angeles Lakers, it seems Udoka will hand the keys to the temperamental Smart, who averaged solid all-around numbers last season.
Of course, Udoka, a well-known lockdown defender during his playing days, also wants the Celtics to embrace a defensive identity.
“Took a step back in some areas there, so we’re digging on that and trying to put our stamp on the team defensively as well. When you look at those little things, there’s a lot of ways we can improve and we’re not far off.”
The Celtics ranked no. 13 in defensive rating last season.