Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been criticized for quite some time for his fit alongside franchise stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Many believe his skillset isn’t the right one for the duo, but Smart simply just laughs at the skepticism.
“First coming out of college, I was a point guard,” Smart said late Friday morning before falling to the Hawks, 108-92. “It’s what I played. So it’s kind of funny to hear people say I’m not a point guard. In high school, point guard, led my team to two state championships. It’s funny hearing people say I’m not a point guard.”
The Celtics PG might not be the type of backcourt star like Kyrie Irving, James Harden, or Devin Booker, to name a few. But, he undoubtedly makes this Boston team better on both ends of the floor in a variety of ways.
Smart is averaging 11.4 points, 5.3 assists, and four rebounds per night and the Celtics are definitely stronger when he’s on the court, outscoring their opponents by six points per 100 possessions. He simply doesn’t get the recognition that other star guards receive because Smart isn’t flashy. The former Oklahoma State standout rarely scores more than 20 points. He doesn’t shoot the lights out. But, instead, the veteran is a pest on defense and gives his all on every single play.
Even Celtics coach Ime Udoka praised Smart for his ability to slow everything down and get his teammates the right shots:
“He’s been good all year,” said Ime Udoka. “As I said early in the season, when he’s been out it’s noticeable. We need somebody to settle us down at times, get us into sets. He’s really good at recognizing advantages, or who the hot guy is, or who needs to get a shot if they’re not scoring as much, and so he’s been doing a really good job of that.”
The Celtics are back in action on Saturday night after losing to the Hawks on Friday.