A question which has been surrounding the Celtics for the past two years, has been, to keep or not to keep Marcus Smart.
The Celtics have been a measly 6-5 since Smart so intelligently lacerated his hand in a hotel room. But, in the past five games, the Celtics are 1-5. They defeated an eastern conference rival, the Wizards, but then got routed by the Raptors and Cavs, who are looking to be significantly bigger threats.
Smart’s strength is clearly defense, and clearly not offense. He is one of our best defensive players, but also one of our worst offensive players. His grit, flopping, and atrocious shooting is what defines him as a player and as it turns out, the Celtics are missing this a lot.
The Celtics have been a bit iffy on the defensive side giving up 100 points eight out of the eleven games Smart was out, something which has not happened this season. They also gave up their career high to the Griffin-less Clippers, although it can be argued that this was a result of a big game by Jordan.
“We need Marcus to be really good for us, and to not be available the last couple of weeks has put everybody else in a tough spot. But we’ve moved on from that and we’re looking forward to getting him back next week, because we clearly need him on our team.” – Brad Stevens
The Celtics needed Smart for big games against the Warriors, Cavs, and Raptors. They were not able to adjust against all three games. In the latter two, the Celtics got routed, and they were not able to keep the Dubs under 100 like they did last time. Curry also had an unreal game, and Kyrie could not get the job done defensively.
When you take Smart off the floor, you lose an important defensive player, but that also puts a lot of pressure on the other guys on the floor, who may not be as good as recognizing rotations and different plays. It’ll put a lot of pressure on a rookie like Jayson Tatum for example, so the leadership position Smart brings to the table is key for the Celtics as well.
Many Celtics fans hate him. At this point, you can’t really sugarcoat it. I’ll admit, when he takes a three, I’m disappointed. Most people will cringe and wince when he takes one, which is one of the main reasons fans wanted him out of Boston for good. Trade rumors brought hope to a lot of fans that he would be gone, but Ainge made the decision to not trade him. Was this the right decision? Honestly, I don’t think Ainge even thought about it. He likes Smart and we do not need to lose a player who is actually tough and stubborn on the court.
“I never really thought that we would move him, and nothing ever came close. We love Marcus and feel like he has a future with us. I’m really looking forward to getting him back healthy, and I think he’s going to have a terrific second half of the season.” – Danny Ainge
To be honest, I like him as a player. He might need to accept the fact that he is not a good shooter eventually, but other than the shooting, he is a good player, and brings qualities to the team to no other player can.
Celtics Guard Marcus Smart is “trending” back to come back after the All-Star Break.