Prediction Series 3: Marcus Smart

The perception of Marcus Smart could be either good or bad, depending who you ask around the league and their fan bases.  But for the Boston Celtics and their fans, they wouldn’t want Smart anywhere else but in Boston.

All of Boston Celtics Nation will be expecting Marcus Smart to duplicate his performance from last season, as the longest tenured Celtic had the best season of his career in 2018-2019. Smart started 60 for the C’s, averaging: nine points per game, four assists, two steals, and and 42/36 shooting splits from the field and the 3-point line in 27.5 minutes per game.

Smart is expected to defend some of the NBA’s most talented and skilled ball handlers, and takes tremendous pride in doing so.  By doing just that, Smart was able to earn NBA All Defensive First Team honors for the first time in his career.  Believed by most to be snubbed of defensive honors in past seasons, Smart was both happy and honored to finally make the All NBA team last season.

With the addition of a stronger Gordon Hayward on a full-time basis and the signing of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart becomes the sixth man for the Celtics.  Smart will lead the second unit that will probably consist of Carsen Edwards, Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, and Robert Williams- as the fiery young second unit who enters the game.

Smart is the perfect player to insert into that role, as the longest tenured Celtic has done just about everything a team can ask for from a player.   The impressive rookie class the Celtics were able to land in the 2019 NBA Draft, will excel playing with a leader like Smart.  Smart enjoys playing old school paced basketball, he thrives in quick and fast paced situations, and I think that these young rookies will provide that for him.

With each new season come new goals and feats to accomplish, both individually and for the team.  As Smart enters his sixth NBA season (all for the Boston Celtics), we have come to realize that he is the most versatile player on the floor.  We have seen Smart defend every position on the court, which is different to see out of a guard.  Smart has also become a very valuable player in the NBA, and is slowly changing the way teams should value defensive effort.

I see Marcus Smart coming off the bench and being the sixth man for the Celtics.  I also believe if he can become a better shooter and more efficient scorer, Smart will become a dual-threat for the Celtics, giving Brad Stevens even more tricks up his sleeve.  As his role is changing this season, Smart is still capable of having a big season, I’m predicting he finishes with: 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals on 43% shooting in 30 minutes per game.  I also see Smart to be in the running for another All NBA type of season that could land him in the conversations for Defensive Player of the Year or even Sixth Man of the Year.

This season has a lot to offer Smart and his re-tooled Celtics team, as they are preparing to be a huge force in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics haven’t had a true captain in the Brad Stevens-Era.  Smart has earned the title and it should be made official.