Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I thought he was a different type of guy. I saw in him as a young player last year, a leader to be, a real team leader type of guy. Not an agitator,” said Ryan. “He plays hard. We know that. But there’s a big difference than playing hard and being a jerk. He does have a disturbing tendency. The shot isn’t improving. I’m very disappointed because I was very much, as you say, an officer in the fan club.”
Here we go again. I’ve seen how this movie ends.
Once again a young Celtics point guard with a strong attitude is starting to turn some observers (and subsequently, some fans) sour. If the esteemed Bob Ryan is calling Marcus Smart a jerk, then he must be a jerk, right?
Yes, Marcus Smart has had his composure issues on the floor. There’s no denying that his frustration and griping with officials is an issue. Grabbing your junk in response to a discussion with a referee is not a good look. On that I’ll agree with anyone.
But focusing on that part of Smart’s game, especially at this point of his career, grossly overshadows what he is doing, and what he can do in the future.
But dismissing his offensive production based on his shooting stats alone is simply lazy. It ignores the fact that, in that same 16-game span, the Celtics are averaging 105.1 points per 100 possessions with Smart on the floor, which is 2.6 points better than Smart’s offensive rating in 34 appearances before the All-Star break.
What’s more, Smart’s post-All-Star net rating of plus-2.7 ranks second on the team behind only Jae Crowder (plus-5.1), a player whose shoes Smart has tried to help fill while Crowder has been sidelined the past five games due to a high ankle sprain. As spectacular as All-Star Isaiah Thomas has been recently, even he’s only plus-2.1 in net rating since the All-Star break.
Smart has a lot left to learn in the NBA. We’re talking about a 22-year-old who has missed significant time in two straight seasons. He’s also had 26 different teammates in those two seasons, which in turn means many different roles. He’s started, he’s come off the bench, he’s finished, he’s not finished… all in just 121 total games. That’s basically a season and a half.
So with all due respect to Bob Ryan, a legendary writer and basketball mind, but to hop off the bandwagon so quickly is very short-sighted. And to call him a jerk? That’s unnecessarily inflammatory.
But it’s out there, and now the talking head jagoffs who don’t watch more than 3 games a season will latch onto this and spread the word… “Bob Ryan, one of the most esteemed basketball minds to grace our generation has deemed Smart a jerk, thus it must be so… time to go FULL RONDO and run him out of town!”
This is like dropping a lit cigarette in the forest. We’ll see if this burns into a wildfire, or if we get lucky and it goes away.
Page 2: Keep fighting, Craig!
“I’ve already had two stem cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third,” Sager told HBO. “So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this.”
“…I’m not going to be that 3–6 months. I‘m going to be that five years. I’m going to make medical history. … I’m fighting this thing to the end. I have too much to do.”
This is devastating news. We hope you beat the odds, Craig, and make it longer than anyone thinks.
The rest of the links:
Globe: C’s have 8 picks in the draft.. who’s looking good in the tourney? | Herald: C’s must find a way to solve Raptors | CSNNE: A look at Thomas’ spectacular passing | Projo: Bradey, C’s have score to settle with Toronto