Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

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Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by wideclyde on Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:23 am

OK.

It is only one game and the sample size is tiny, but the Cs looked like they were intended to look all season last night against New Orleans.

Smart's defense, toughness and leadership made a difference. He also shot 40% on his three pointers.

He has to start a few more games to see if this move by Stevens is for real, but it surely looked good last night.

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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by gyso on Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:52 am

Kyrie Irving highlights Marcus Smart’s play after win over New Orleans

https://www.celticsblog.com/2018/11/27/18113938/celtics-encouraged-win-new-orleans-boston-pelicans-kyrie-irving-al-horford-marcus-smart-brad-stevens

Starting Marcus Smart did wonders for Boston on Monday night.

The Boston Celtics played arguably their most complete game on Monday night at Smoothie King Center, beating the New Orleans Pelicans by a score of 124-107. With no Jaylen Brown due to a lower back injury, Marcus Smart was inserted into the starting lineup and provided a much needed spark. He would finish with 8 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds, but Smart’s presence and defensive prowess allowed other starters like Kyrie Irving to take some of the pressure off of themselves.

“I think the unit that we had out there today, we really had that mindset going that we wanted to start off the game and have a defensive presence,” said Irving. “Marcus (Smart) on the ball took some of that pressure off me, being off the ball as well offensively and defensively. ... Having Marcus (Smart) in there gave me that outlet to be able get off the ball. We did pretty well with our unit tonight. We started off the game and we never looked back.” Irving continued his high praise of Smart throughout his postgame availability.

“I mean there’s a reason why we signed him back,” said Irving of Smart. “There’s a reason why he’s very instrumental for our team to be successful, because he’s a veteran now, not in terms of years, but he’s played high level basketball for the Celtics for a few years now. So we expect him to be in the right spots and doing the right things - and when he’s playing with me, we play pretty well together.”

Monday’s starting lineup also helped contribute to Al Horford’s best performance of the young season. The veteran big man was very pleased with Boston’s showing on Monday night, saying it resembled last season’s 55-win team.

“We looked a lot like the team we were last year,” Horford said. “That was encouraging.” Horford finished with a season-high 20 points on 8/15 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in 32 minutes of play. It was without a doubt his most complete effort thus far, and head coach Brad Stevens made that quite clear following the win. “I thought (Horford) played one of his best games of the season,” said the Celtics head coach.

Does this mean the Celtics have finally found a starting lineup? Stevens says definitely not. “We won’t be settled on a starting lineup until forever."

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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by NYCelt on Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:04 am

“We won’t be settled on a starting lineup until forever."

Something I've always liked to hear from any coach.
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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:05 am

Smart can relieve pressure on Kyrie, having 2 good ball handlers that can initiate offense could be a good thing, I would even keep Morris in the starting line up too. Let Jaylen and GH come off the bench, they should do wonders for the bench play, giving us a huge spark. We now may have the deepest bench....
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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by gyso on Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:18 pm

cowens/oldschool wrote:Smart can relieve pressure on Kyrie, having 2 good ball handlers that can initiate offense could be a good thing, I would even keep Morris in the starting line up too. Let Jaylen and GH come off the bench, they should do wonders for the bench play, giving us a huge spark. We now may have the deepest bench....

I agree, except the Morris part. I'd like to start Baynes, Horford, Tatum, Smart and Irving every game.

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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by dboss on Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:43 pm

I think it is all about matchups but given the Celtics issues scoring the basketball I think Morris should be in the starting lineup.  

Marcus Smart got the start because Jaylen Brown was hurt.  And Marcus is really the BU SG on this team as well as a BU PG.  He has started 84 games in his career most of which occurred in his first year.  

I can see situations where you could start him in place of Brown but also situations where it would not make a lot of sense.  I do not see him becoming the full time starting SG because of how Brad uses Brown to check SF like Leonard for example,

Brad has the flexibility to do a lot of different things with the lineup but I do think he needs to settle on a lineup that he will use most nights.
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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by wideclyde on Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:34 am

OK. OK. It was only against Cleveland, but it is now two games in a row that the Cs have looked like they should have looked all season long.

Tonight will tell more as Minnesota is better than Cleveland and will provide a better test of the new starting lineup.

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Re: Oh no! Not Marcus Smart in the starting lineup.

Post by wideclyde on Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:48 pm

Three games (all wins) in a row with this new starting lineup, and most importantly no early game double digit deficits to have to recover from.

This season will turn around as long as the Cs are not trying to "recover" over the last three quarters of almost every game.  Playing well at the beginning of a game does not guarantee victory, but it is nice to see the opponents trying to play 'catch up' night after night.

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