Your Morning Dump… Where Marcus Smart impacts winning | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where Marcus Smart impacts winning

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics

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.

In Smart’s floor time, the Celtics owned an offensive rating of 109.3, or 5.1 points higher than the team’s game average. For all the laments about his individual shooting woes, Boston’s team production remains excellent during Smart’s slump. His post-All-Star net rating of plus-4 points per 100 possessions is the third best mark on the team behind only injured Jae Crowder (plus-5.1) and Thomas (plus-4.1).

Celtics coach Brad Stevens singled out Smart’s offensive rebound after Saturday’s win.

“Those are the things that make Marcus special,” Stevens told reporters in Phoenix. “Sometimes those go in a box score, sometimes they don’t. But he does them every game. That’s why I don’t get too caught up in the box score stuff with him. He impacts winning and tonight was a good example of that.”

ESPN Boston: Stevens: Smart impacts winning

Smart played 32 minutes off the bench, helping to take some of load off Avery Bradley (weak from an illness and a cross-country flight Saturday). He had eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and even a blocked shot.

“My main focus is try to, even though my shot’s not falling still, find a way to impact the game,” Smart told reporters after the game. “We have a lot of guys on this team that can do a lot of things. If my shot’s not falling, I try to pick us up some other way, especially when we have guys that are knocking down shots.”

WEEI: Even with shots not falling, Smart determined to find a way to impact the game

With the Rondo-ing of Marcus Smart blooming this spring, each day brings new heat on the young Celtics guard (my Twitter feed is evidence of that).

The critics will point to his box score last night and see 0-5 from 3… bringing his percentage down to 25% on the season, 18% post-All Star break, and 15% in March. These numbers are putrid, and there’s no arguing that this is an area in which Smart desperately needs to improve.

However, as Chris Forsberg laid out, it’s not hurting the team. The offense runs better with Smart on the floor. Only the two best players on the team have a better net rating than he does. And watching last night, you can see the obvious positive effect he has on the floor with his hustle and defense.

Even his treatment of the refs is improving, a sign that the 22-year-old Smart recognizes his issue and is taking steps to correct it. I don’t know if that has played a role in the two offensive fouls he drew early in the game, but it certainly didn’t hurt. If the officials recognize that a guy is trying to tone down his behavior, human nature will take over and they’ll be more forgiving.

So why don’t we just be patient about this kid, huh? He has obvious, glaring problems. He also has obvious, glaring strengths and he plays a big role in Boston’s success. He’s a big part of Boston’s best lineup… the small lineup that includes him, Bradley, Thomas, and Crowder. So let’s look at the big picture.

The kid just turned 22. What were you doing at 22? How great were you in your career at that point? What if someone told you your career was a failure at that age?

Smart knows he has to work on his shooting. Let’s see if he can figure that out before bailing on him. In the meantime, try not to let every miss distract you from the good things he’s doing out there.

Related links: CSNNE: Smart finds a way to make an impact

Page 2: Paul Pierce isn’t quite sure if this is it

So here comes tomorrow night’s game against the Celtics, and Pierce wonders as much as anyone whether this will be the last time he plays his old team.

“I thought it last year,” he said. “I’m going to reevaluate it with my family and see how my body feels, see where my mind is most importantly. Get into training, getting ready for next season and, if my mind isn’t there, I’ll make a decision.

“Ever since I left Boston, I’ve relished it all,” he said. “I relish the moments you spend with your teammates, the travel and the camaraderie. Those are things I’ll miss because I’ve been at it for almost half my life. I take a lot of pictures on the road, I’ll take a lot of pictures with the guys.”

Herald: Paul Pierce wavers on end

I really don’t want to think too much about the end of Paul Pierce’s career right now. That’s going to be an emotional day for all Celtics fans, and I’m only going to be able to write so many words about him. I don’t want to waste them here.

But I’ll just say that I hope he gets that title he’s looking for. I’m not sure he will. That Clippers team doesn’t seem fully ready to shock the West, but who knows what happens when Griffin gets back. Maybe Pierce can channel some magic off the bench and they can make a run.

Who knows? It’d be fun to see Pierce celebrate a ring in his hometown.

 

And Finally…

For those of you who celebrate Easter today, enjoy bingeing on whatever it is you gave up for the past month.

The rest of the links:

WEEI: Thomas saves C’s from themselves, escape with win | MassLive: Rumor: C’s not expected to sign Coty Clarke for season  |  Turner blocks Booker, preserves win over Suns  |  NESN: Hield lights up Oregon, makes Celtics fans dream (videos)  |  Herald: Bradley gets back onto the court  |  Thomas glad in return to Phoenix  |  C’s show off spirit of ’76  |  Ray Allen’s game 6 3 cost Joey Crawford money, and nearly worse  |  Globe: Celtics have finishing touch at start of West Coast trip  |  Lillard & Trailblazers taking it personally  |  Celtics not expected to sign Coty Clarke

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  • Jaedre

    Pierce should come back home to Boston… Sign a 1 year an hang it up… If we can pull this Horford|*Insert Player Here* move this summer he wont be needed to carry on the load just be a veteran presence who has won and knows how to win that can contribute 10-15 minutes a game with few night offs throughout the season

    • Curt Hays

      Insert player…Ha!
      You mean Kevin Durant

      • Jaedre

        lol

  • KGino

    It’d be nice to see Pierce win one in his hometown…. If it didn’t mean the rest of his bitch ass team (including doc) also winning one

    • forever_green

      You forgot their bitch ass fans.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Clippers are way too soft–physically & mentally–to be taken seriously as a championship contender.

    • forever_green

      Yet people still don’t give Marcus a hard time like they did Rondo.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Nor should they.

        Smart is a tenacious defender, plays hard virtually every minute he`s on the floor, and does nothing to cause people to think he`s arrogant. It`s much easier to “forgive” his shortcomings.

        • forever_green

          Reality is he’s a bust, yes in a weak draft, but a bust nevertheless. Red you know I didn’t like picking him in the draft & still don’t. I’d trade him before teams realize there’s no potential there. He can’t even start on this team & that great D and hard play will be matched in the playoffs and he’ll only disappear more. I have nothing against him, I just don’t see the improvement.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I agree 100%.

            I was only pointing out why most Celtic fans are not giving Smart a “hard time”, as they did with Rondo.

            Once the Celtics fell to the 6th pick, I felt that Randle was the absolute best they could do. I was furious with the Smart selection. Today, I still would not have picked Smart at 6. Smart was way overrated in college.

            This year, I see the same thing happening. Boston will likely select 4 or 5. Trade the pick! If Ben Simmons is the “prize” of the draft, then this is one shitty draft!

          • Bill Wilson

            Completely agree. I would not have drafted Smart two years ago, and I have seen nothing to change my mind since.

            Despite Celtic Fan falling all over himself to defend every single draft pick Ainge has ever made, the fact is Ainge is a mediocre drafter. If the pick this year is 4 or 5, trade it. Ainge won’t likely make good use of it otherwise.

          • RedsLoveChild

            To hear Celtic Fan tell it, you`d think Ainge has an infallible record on draft night.

            Truth is, he`s been abysmal.

          • Bill Wilson

            You certainly would on some other sites, where the knob slobbering of Ainge is off the rails. When Danny trades, I like our chances. When he drafts, I cringe. I cringed at the Smart pick, and I cringed at the Rozier pick.

          • RedsLoveChild

            There`s no shortage of “knob slobbering” on this site!

            Ainge`s trades have all been safe “no risk” deals since the 2011 Jeff Green trade, when he destroyed a 41-14 team.

            Drafting?
            There was 2008 when he picked JR Giddens over DeAndre Jordan…picking Greg Pruitt over Marc Gasol in `07….Fab Melo over Draymond Green in `12….Marshon Brooks over Jimmy Butler & Chandler Parsons in `11.

            That`s just the tip of the iceberg.

          • Bill Wilson

            I thought Ainge did quite well off-loading the useless corpse of Rondo – another Celtic elevated to legendary status without factual support by the knob slobbers – and Pierce and Garnett.

            His drafting, though, has been poor. To those of you who want Ainge to use all of his choices this year, just consider that he’s going to squander half of them. His track record is absolutely clear on that.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Again, both were safe no-risk trades.

            He waited until Rondo was already “toxic” before trading him. For Rondo, he got Jae Crowder from Dallas, who he could`ve had in the 2013 draft but instead drafted Lucas Noguera {you read that right Lucas Noguera}!

            Pierce and KG were washed-up legends {age 36 & 37} on 41-40 team, when a desperate Brooklyn owner from Russia approached Ainge with a crazy-super generous offer nobody could refuse.

          • zippittyay

            Other than GS and SA, there are no GMs who have done noticeably better than Ainge has. I you think you know of one, please name said GM and I’ll gladly compare the overall record.

  • Sean

    Pierce still my favorite player he really is the Truth

  • Cleangreen

    Get off Smarts dick!! He’s not being “Rondo’d,” there’s legitmate concern with his offensive abilities.

  • Jake Gruber

    Here’s the thing. You’d be an idiot to argue that the team, as currently constituted, would be better without Marcus Smart. However, you also have to realize that for every play he makes an incredible play, he shoots a COMPLETELY ill-advised shot. There was ample evidence of that last night.

    The question is not whether he makes THIS team better, because, as you said , their rating is better with him on the floor. This is NOT the Rondo situation. Rondo demanded the ball much more, played horrible defense, AND couldn’t shoot. What people are saying about smart, if they are intelligent and thoughtful, is whether his ability to admittedly make some great plays is worth his shortcomings on the offensive end. You can tell by his shooting mechanics he will never be a consistent, stellar shooter, and frankly he doesn’t need to be stellar to stick around. However, his shot selection needs to get markedly better, and he needs to get consistent with at least some part of his offensive game.

    The question is NOT whether he makes this team better now. It is whether this guy is worth keeping around for the long haul or trading away while he’s got some value for someone who can bring some more offensive punch to a team that can really struggle offensively at times, or a shot blocker who can help defensively in the paint.

  • zippittyay

    I see Marcus Smart as the Dennis Rodman of NBA guards. He has to stop thinking he’s LeBron James.

    • Eisenhorn1976

      I like your Rodman comparison but I don’t think Marcus carries himself like he’s Lebron — nor does he attempt to play that way either. I think it’s the Celtics fans who want him to become Lebron who are the problem. The only thing that’s ‘Lebron’ about Marcus is the bitching to the refs.

      Way too many Celtics fans are judging him from the prism of ‘next superstar in the making’ instead of appreciating the things he already does well.

      • zippittyay

        I agree about how he carries himself. I was referring to his eagerness to hit big shots rather than any ego issues.

  • Eisenhorn1976

    People need to lay off on Marcus Smart — he is still very much a work in progress.

    It took 6 seasons for Avery Bradley to become a relatively efficient offensive player and even then, his career VORP is just 0.9 (via Basketball-reference.com). That’s despite his reputation as a strong defensive player.

    Marcus career VORP (also via B-R) over 2 seasons is already 2.4 despite his offensive struggles. That’s how good a defensive player he already is.

    Smart impacts winning. If that’s good enough for President Stevens, it’s good enough for me.