Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year. In 2021-22 he had the best season of his career in his first as the team’s starting point guard. Smart was able to fill the spot well and lead the team to an NBA Finals appearance.
Marcus has to be the most polarizing member of the Celtics, fans either love him or want him gone. The complaints from the latter are mostly related to his inconsistent shooting, and occasional quick trigger. The Texas native averages just over 10 points per game for his career, shooting 40% from the field and making 32% of his threes in the process.
So far this season, his points are up, but the efficiency is down. Smart is shooting 38% overall and 28% from behind the arc. In his first six games of the new season, the nine-year vet shot a dismal 32% from the field and 22% from downtown.
However, he is coming off of two incredible games. On Saturday night in New York, Smart scored 13 points and dished out 11 assists. He followed that up with a 15 point and 12 assist night in Memphis Monday. In both games he was efficient, nailing over half of his shots. Not to mention, the Celtics won both games.
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is one of four players averaging over six assists and less than 1.5 turnovers, joining Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet, and Mike Conley. Marcus clearly sees the floor at the highest level. The past two outings were prime examples of that. The 28-year-old only turned the ball over thrice, while dishing a total of 23 assists. Some of those dimes were highlights, including a pair of pretty passes to star forward Jayson Tatum.
Is this something Boston Celtics fans should get used to?
Yes and no.
Throughout his nine-year career, Smart has only had eight regular season games where he notched a double-double with points and assists. Going forward, it probably isn’t realistic for fans to expect performances like the last two on the regular. However, he isn’t someone who traditionally turns the ball over very often, despite his sometimes over-aggressive offensive playstyle.
For the season, Smart should make averaging over 7 assists per game a goal. He was just a key piece of some excellent ball movement from Boston. When he’s playing unselfishly, the team is much better off.