Celtics news: Marcus Smart has been the East's best 3-point shooter in 2019
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Celtics’ Marcus Smart has been the East’s best 3-point shooter in 2019

Marcus Smart

When the Boston Celtics signed Marcus Smart to a long-term contract this past offseason, they were surely expecting his signature defensive grit and high energy from a player who had developed nicely in his time with the team. What they probably weren’t expecting though was him to be one of the best shooters in the conference for a solid stretch of the season. That, however, is what they got. According to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, Smart has been one of the most reliable shooters since the start of the calendar year:

“Smart is shooting 42-of-93 (45.2 percent) on his shots from downtown since January when he has really started to heat up. Among the 66 players in the Eastern Conference who have taken at least 50 three-point attempts in the new year thus far, no one has been more accurate than Smart.”

Some players step their game up in the season before they hope to sign their next contract, but for Smart it was the opposite. Kalbrosky noted that in a chat with Jay King of The Athletic, Marcus Smart admitted that the security and comfort of not playing for his next deal has helped him feel comfortable in his shot.

Prior to this season, Smart’s most efficient shooting from beyond the arc came in his rookie year where he shot just 33.5 percent. Overall this season, he is shooting a career best 37.7 percent.

With the Celtics experiencing trouble coming out of the gate this season, Smart working himself into their starting lineup and continuing to play excellent basketball has been big for the team as they climb back to the top of the conference.