Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

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Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by bobheckler on Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:26 pm

Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?



by Tom Mulherin


3h ago



Smart is having a terrible month of shooting thus far. Can he turn it around, or is he becoming a serious liability when taking shots?

It’s no secret how important Marcus Smart has been for the Boston Celtics this season.


Whenever the Celtics need a quick steal, his aggressive defense creates turnovers. Whenever they need a key stop, you can count on him to draw a charge or plainly shut someone down. His size and athleticism allows him to guard almost anybody in the NBA, he’s an excellent rebounder and he has offensive value with his playmaking ability.

By serving such a crucial role in Boston’s rotation, it would seem there are no negatives in his game. But then again, there’s his shooting.



Rather, there’s his shooting as of late.

There have been many times over the course of Smart’s three-year career where his shot gets scalding hot, leaving many fans with excitement over what looks like an improved scoring ability. But this past month hasn’t given off that feeling.


By shooting 1-of-9 from behind the arc in a win over the Phoenix Suns Friday, Smart is now converting a woeful 18 percent of his 3-pointers in March. Considering that his 3.8 shots from deep per game makes up more than one-third of his 10.1 shots per game in the month, it makes sense that he’s shooting just 30 percent overall in the same span.

After looking at these numbers, it must be frustrating for fans to continuously watch Smart chuck up so many shots. It doesn’t matter if he’s shooting a career-best 34 percent from deep this season, as it’s become quite clear that the three-year veteran still hasn’t found a reliable stroke. And at this point, it’s becoming a legitimate concern for the Celtics heading into the postseason.

His performance against the Suns serves as a perfect example of just how damaging Smart’s shot selection – and misses – can be.

With 4:28 left in the first quarter, Smart subbed into the game as Boston held a 25-7 lead over Phoenix. In the Celtics’ very first possession, Smart missed a 3-pointer he took five feet behind the line. It’s usually not pleasant to see a guy who’s shooting 18 percent from 3 over the last 24 days take a shot that deep behind the line.

Smart missed another 3 just a few minutes later, and – while it’s hardly all his fault – the Suns went on a 9-4 run to close out the quarter.

Fast-forward to the 8:37 mark of the second quarter. Al Horford started to fall after grabbing an offensive rebound, so he kicked it out to Smart at the corner 3. Smart had made a 3-pointer a couple minutes earlier to go 1-of-3 thus far, so he must’ve gotten it in his head that he was “hot.” With 20 seconds left on the shot clock and a Phoenix player heavily contesting him, Smart pulled the trigger. Again.

And he missed.  Again.

I’ll save the rest of the details, as most of you already know how the story goes. It’s always the same with how Smart operates on offense.

Whenever there’s a lull in scoring, he either pulls from beyond the arc – whether there’s a defender in his face or not – or bull rushes his way into a shot near the paint. Sometimes it works, and the Celtics heavily benefit from it. But it doesn’t work a lot of the time, and then Boston scrambles further on offense to try and generate something with one less possession.


In the games like the one the Celtics played on Friday against the Suns, it’s not a huge deal. Boston never forfeited a double-digit lead after the first six minutes of the game.

But Phoenix turned a once 26-point deficit into a 12-point deficit with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter. A big part of that was because Smart shot 1-of-12 up until that time, meaning there were 11 possessions that could’ve ended better. Yeah, his defense made up for it. Yeah, some of those shots were actually open looks.

Had this game been against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, though, that comeback momentum would’ve most likely led to a two or three possession game come the final minutes of the fourth. Same with the Wizards and the Raptors.

Boston can’t afford to have such an important guy shoot so poorly over an extended period of time in the playoffs. And it certainly can’t afford to have a guy shooting so poorly take 13 shots – nine of them 3’s – in a game.

When playing against the top teams in the league, Smart and the rest of the Celtics need to be efficient from the field. That means when Smart is say 1-of-5 from behind the arc so far, maybe he shouldn’t try to bust out of the slump and take four more 3-pointers. Especially if they’re contested, which seems to be Smarts favorite time to shoot them.


Luckily for Boston, Smart almost always answers poor offense with excellent defense. But with playoffs just around the corner and more competitive teams waiting ahead, the Celtics are going to need better offense from one of their key rotation players
.



bob



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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by NYCelt on Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:51 pm

Ugh.  Really?  The article even contradicts itself.

Why raise a problem where one simply does not exist?

Do we have to have a whipping boy all the time?  

Second in the east, rebuild looking ahead of any reasonable expectations, and we have to have a complaint that the sky is the wrong shade of blue.

Oooh, Smart has been off.  Oooh, Marcus' shooting has been terrible lately.  Yeah, sure, let's dump him.

Why didn't we just dump that DJ guy we used to have way back when his shot was off?  Or that hick dude, from French Lick?  We should have over-analyzed every little down streak he had, shouldn't we have?  By the same reasoning used here, we should have.

What a load of cr*p!
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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by worcester on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:32 am

Smart's woeful shooting is not a streak. It's a long term problem. He's putting up 4.1 3 point shots a game and hitting only .280% of them. His 2 point efficiency is.424 and his overall is .363.

The most 3 point attempts Larry Bird ever averaged in a year was 3.1 and his lifetime average was 1.9. Someone should tell that to Marcus, that he can be a great player without launching every 3 point shot he can imagine taking. This is not rocket science.

BTW, if you look at 82games.com , click on Boston Celtics, and then 5 Man Units you'll see that we usually perform badly when Marcus and Jalen are on the floor together. Why is that? We do well when Jalen is on the floor with other PG's. We do best when Jalen is on the floor with IT, Jae, Jerebko, and Johnson. We've done the worst when Jalen has been on the floor with IT, Jae, Jerebko, and Horford. Four out of our five best rebounding units are when Jalen is on the court.

http://www.82games.com/1617/1617BOS2.HTM

Top Five-Man Floor Units
#
Unit
Min
Off
Def
+/-
W
L
Win%
1
Thomas-Bradley-Crowder-Johnson-Horford 333.3 1.17 1.07 +65   17   10  
62.9
2
Thomas-Smart-Crowder-Johnson-Horford 166.2 1.22 1.09 +30   12   10  
54.5
3
Thomas-Smart-Crowder-Olynyk-Horford 98.0 1.14 1.22 -4   9   10  
47.3
4
Smart-Bradley-Crowder-Johnson-Horford 93.7 1.11 1.05 +4   7   4  
63.6
5
Thomas-Smart-Bradley-Crowder-Horford 87.8 1.18 1.23 +9   11   10  
52.3
6
Rozier-Smart-Brown-Jerebko-Olynyk 84.8 0.94 0.97 -10   7   15  
31.8
7
Thomas-Smart-Bradley-Johnson-Olynyk 80.2 0.99 1.05 -14   3   7  
30.0
8
Thomas-Brown-Crowder-Johnson-Horford 69.4 1.01 0.94 +8   4   3  
57.1
9
Thomas-Bradley-Crowder-Olynyk-Horford 62.3 1.27 1.04 +33   8   2  
80.0
10
Thomas-Smart-Crowder-Jerebko-Horford 54.6 1.25 1.09 +21   9   6  
60.0
11
Thomas-Bradley-Crowder-Jerebko-Horford 51.3 1.17 0.97 +18   6   5  
54.5
12
Thomas-Smart-Brown-Crowder-Horford 41.7 1.21 1.18 -1   4   6  
40.0
13
Thomas-Brown-Crowder-Jerebko-Johnson 39.8 1.39 1.02 +28   4   0  
100
14
Rozier-Smart-Brown-Jerebko-Horford 38.4 1.07 0.82 +14   3   3  
50.0
15
Smart-Bradley-Crowder-Olynyk-Horford 38.0 1.00 0.97 +0   7   8  
46.6
16
Thomas-Smart-Brown-Jerebko-Olynyk 34.3 1.15 1.20 -2   4   6  
40.0
17
Rozier-Smart-Brown-Olynyk-Horford 34.2 0.90 1.00 -4   2   7  
22.2
18
Rozier-Smart-Green-Jerebko-Olynyk 29.3 0.96 0.97 -1   4   4  
50.0
19
Thomas-Brown-Crowder-Jerebko-Horford 25.2 0.98 1.11 -10   1   5  
16.6
20
Rozier-Smart-Bradley-Jerebko-Olynyk 24.2 1.30 0.98 +14   3   4  
42.8
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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by wideclyde on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:48 pm

Absolutely, Smart is not a problem. I would reign in his three point attempts if I were the head coach, but as long as Coach Stevens does not feel the same way Marcus Smart is not a problem.

I think that I would put some limits on him such as making him do something else with the ball after any time that he has missed two in a row. In fact, this is not a bad idea for any guy who is not shooting threes at over a 30% clip.

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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by Ktronic1 on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:25 pm

bobheckler wrote:Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

by Tom Mulherin


3h ago



Smart is having a terrible month of shooting thus far. Can he turn it around, or is he becoming a serious liability when taking shots?

It’s no secret how important Marcus Smart has been for the Boston Celtics this season.


Whenever the Celtics need a quick steal, his aggressive defense creates turnovers. Whenever they need a key stop, you can count on him to draw a charge or plainly shut someone down. His size and athleticism allows him to guard almost anybody in the NBA, he’s an excellent rebounder and he has offensive value with his playmaking ability.

By serving such a crucial role in Boston’s rotation, it would seem there are no negatives in his game. But then again, there’s his shooting.



Rather, there’s his shooting as of late.

There have been many times over the course of Smart’s three-year career where his shot gets scalding hot, leaving many fans with excitement over what looks like an improved scoring ability. But this past month hasn’t given off that feeling.


By shooting 1-of-9 from behind the arc in a win over the Phoenix Suns Friday, Smart is now converting a woeful 18 percent of his 3-pointers in March. Considering that his 3.8 shots from deep per game makes up more than one-third of his 10.1 shots per game in the month, it makes sense that he’s shooting just 30 percent overall in the same span.

After looking at these numbers, it must be frustrating for fans to continuously watch Smart chuck up so many shots. It doesn’t matter if he’s shooting a career-best 34 percent from deep this season, as it’s become quite clear that the three-year veteran still hasn’t found a reliable stroke. And at this point, it’s becoming a legitimate concern for the Celtics heading into the postseason.

His performance against the Suns serves as a perfect example of just how damaging Smart’s shot selection – and misses – can be.

With 4:28 left in the first quarter, Smart subbed into the game as Boston held a 25-7 lead over Phoenix. In the Celtics’ very first possession, Smart missed a 3-pointer he took five feet behind the line. It’s usually not pleasant to see a guy who’s shooting 18 percent from 3 over the last 24 days take a shot that deep behind the line.

Smart missed another 3 just a few minutes later, and – while it’s hardly all his fault – the Suns went on a 9-4 run to close out the quarter.

Fast-forward to the 8:37 mark of the second quarter. Al Horford started to fall after grabbing an offensive rebound, so he kicked it out to Smart at the corner 3. Smart had made a 3-pointer a couple minutes earlier to go 1-of-3 thus far, so he must’ve gotten it in his head that he was “hot.” With 20 seconds left on the shot clock and a Phoenix player heavily contesting him, Smart pulled the trigger. Again.

And he missed.  Again.

I’ll save the rest of the details, as most of you already know how the story goes. It’s always the same with how Smart operates on offense.

Whenever there’s a lull in scoring, he either pulls from beyond the arc – whether there’s a defender in his face or not – or bull rushes his way into a shot near the paint. Sometimes it works, and the Celtics heavily benefit from it. But it doesn’t work a lot of the time, and then Boston scrambles further on offense to try and generate something with one less possession.


In the games like the one the Celtics played on Friday against the Suns, it’s not a huge deal. Boston never forfeited a double-digit lead after the first six minutes of the game.

But Phoenix turned a once 26-point deficit into a 12-point deficit with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter. A big part of that was because Smart shot 1-of-12 up until that time, meaning there were 11 possessions that could’ve ended better. Yeah, his defense made up for it. Yeah, some of those shots were actually open looks.

Had this game been against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, though, that comeback momentum would’ve most likely led to a two or three possession game come the final minutes of the fourth. Same with the Wizards and the Raptors.

Boston can’t afford to have such an important guy shoot so poorly over an extended period of time in the playoffs. And it certainly can’t afford to have a guy shooting so poorly take 13 shots – nine of them 3’s – in a game.

When playing against the top teams in the league, Smart and the rest of the Celtics need to be efficient from the field. That means when Smart is say 1-of-5 from behind the arc so far, maybe he shouldn’t try to bust out of the slump and take four more 3-pointers. Especially if they’re contested, which seems to be Smarts favorite time to shoot them.


Luckily for Boston, Smart almost always answers poor offense with excellent defense. But with playoffs just around the corner and more competitive teams waiting ahead, the Celtics are going to need better offense from one of their key rotation players
.



bob

.

He went through something similar to this last. Year and I believe it was around the same time. I get it. Its bothersome but im confident that will get better before/come playoff time and beyond. The kid is so valuable. Like you stated, he does so many other good things out there. He's pretty consistent with that. Far as i am concerned, Hes a keeper.

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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by bobheckler on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:40 pm

The problem with Marcus Smart's shooting, if I were Brad, is that I cannot have another non-shooter on the floor with him.  One non-shooter, sure no problem, but two?  That makes it too easy for the defense to key on just 3 players.

Smart needs to take no more than 1-2 3pt fgas/game.  Floaters in the lane?  Sure, absolutely, and posting up is an all-he-can-eat buffet.  In fact, considering how good Horford and Kelly are from the outside doing an inside/out offense with a 6'4" guard in the low blocks would (and does!) work great. Just don't take 7 3pt fgas like he did vs Phoenix.  That's just the most amazing absence of conscience I have seen in a professional athlete in my entire life.  Towards the end of his career Cornbread Maxwell developed a two-handed flat-footed shot from the elbow.  He took 1-2/game, just to compel the defense to come out to him so he could drive past them.  Can you imagine if Max took 7 of them a game, and only hit 28% of them?  That is just NOT smart (small "s") basketball. It is shocking to me that Brad hasn't talked to him about that.


bob


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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by Ktronic1 on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:45 pm

bobheckler wrote:The problem with Marcus Smart's shooting, if I were Brad, is that I cannot have another non-shooter on the floor with him.  One non-shooter, sure no problem, but two?  That makes it too easy for the defense to key on just 3 players.

Smart needs to take no more than 1-2 3pt fgas/game.  Floaters in the lane?  Sure, absolutely, and posting up is an all-he-can-eat buffet.  In fact, considering how good Horford and Kelly are from the outside doing an inside/out offense with a 6'4" guard in the low blocks would (and does!) work great.  Just don't take 7 3pt fgas like he did vs Phoenix.  That's just the most amazing absence of conscience I have seen in a professional athlete in my entire life.  Towards the end of his career Cornbread Maxwell developed a two-handed flat-footed shot from the elbow.  He took 1-2/game, just to compel the defense to come out to him so he could drive past them.  Can you imagine if Max took 7 of them a game, and only hit 28% of them?  That is just NOT smart (small "s") basketball.  It is shocking to me that Brad hasn't talked to him about that.


bob


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Maybe because Brad wants him to keep shooting? I trust Brad Stevens.

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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by NYCelt on Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:54 pm

Ktronic1 wrote:
bobheckler wrote:The problem with Marcus Smart's shooting, if I were Brad, is that I cannot have another non-shooter on the floor with him.  One non-shooter, sure no problem, but two?  That makes it too easy for the defense to key on just 3 players.

Smart needs to take no more than 1-2 3pt fgas/game.  Floaters in the lane?  Sure, absolutely, and posting up is an all-he-can-eat buffet.  In fact, considering how good Horford and Kelly are from the outside doing an inside/out offense with a 6'4" guard in the low blocks would (and does!) work great.  Just don't take 7 3pt fgas like he did vs Phoenix.  That's just the most amazing absence of conscience I have seen in a professional athlete in my entire life.  Towards the end of his career Cornbread Maxwell developed a two-handed flat-footed shot from the elbow.  He took 1-2/game, just to compel the defense to come out to him so he could drive past them.  Can you imagine if Max took 7 of them a game, and only hit 28% of them?  That is just NOT smart (small "s") basketball.  It is shocking to me that Brad hasn't talked to him about that.


bob


.

Maybe because Brad wants him to keep shooting? I trust Brad Stevens.


Ktronic,

That could be.

He's not going to improve his shot by not taking it.  Considering where we sit in the standings, now's the time to work through these things before the playoffs.

Regards
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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by swish on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:29 pm

http://bkref.com/tiny/GSxNn
     Above link is for the 2015-16 season - 31 players
           Smarts ranking
   Ranked 30th in EFG
   Ranked 27th in 2 point shooting percentage
   Ranked 31st in 3 point shooting percentage




       


      Below link is for the 2016-17 season - 28 players
                 Smarts ranking
     Ranked 28th in EFG
     Ranked 27th in 2 point shooting percentage
     Ranked 28th in 3 point shooting percentage

       

      http://bkref.com/tiny/Cskak  

            Check out Avery Bradley's numbers in 2015-16  - not bad for an all nba defensive player.  Smart is not only a lousy shooter from 3 point land but equally bad from 2 point range. The big question is - at what point does his horrible shooting negate his positive defensive skills?  Is there any valid reason to expect him to develop into a decent shooter? Nothing in his college or nba career thus far seems to offer much hope. But then there's always hard work and last but not least - miracles.


   swish


Last edited by swish on Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:59 pm; edited 7 times in total

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Re: Is Marcus Smart’s Shot Becoming A Problem For The Celtics?

Post by worcester on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:50 pm

Brad is not an idiot. He can read the numbers. He knows Marcus sucks as a shooter. Marcus is not going to become a better shooter for the rest of this year. The cake is baked. Brad will make an adjustment. Marcus was 1-5 tonight. 20%. 20%!!!! One for 3 from 3 point land. At least he minimized his shot attempts. Maybe Brad has already given him the signal to trim down the FGA's. Let's hope so.
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