Michael Jordan once said, “Some people want it to happen, some people want it to happen, and some people let it happen.” In moments of “victory moments,” special players and true superstars always “make it.”
In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, one Boston Celtics player decided it was time for him to “achieve the goal,” and that player was Marcus Smart.
With the Celtics holding an eight-point lead with less than three minutes left, Smart decided to try every shot for the remainder of the game. He missed every one. At that moment, Celtics fans everywhere were screaming at their TVs, “What the hell is this? [bleep] Are you doing Marcus! ! ! “
His performance during that time certainly put the Heat back in the game and gave Jimmy Butler a chance to take the lead with 16 seconds left. After Butler’s fumble, however, Smart did the Marcus Smart thing again, with two free throws to seal the game for Boston.
For those who don’t know, Mark
The smart thing about us is Smart’s unique ability to be a player whose jersey should be in the rafters one moment, and a player you want to be traded before this year’s trade deadline the next.
Marcus Smart has polarized Boston Celtics fans for some time now
Smart is both a player you never want to leave the team and a player you want to be sent to be an undercover agent for the Philadelphia 76ers or the Los Angeles Lakers, you can say some secret words to him and have him play a Open 3s (if the Celtics don’t win the NBA Finals this year, I really hope Brad Stevens considers this option).
From a statistical standpoint alone, Smart is a relatively unremarkable player. During his career, he has a slightly below-average 3-point percentage (0.331 to 0.354) and a below-average effective field goal percentage (0.466 to 0.532).
In the 2021-22 season, his win shares are lower than Tobias Harris and Alec Burks, and his PER (player efficiency rating) is lower than Malik Monk and Marcus Morris, for the For a player like Matt, it’s a rather unremarkable company.
While he did become the league’s Defensive Player of the Year this season, he wasn’t in the league’s top 10 in defensive winning percentage or defensive plus-minus.
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I’m sure it’s hard for NBA fans outside of Boston to say exactly why you should put Marcus Smart on your team, and Boston Celtics fans sometimes have a hard time doing it too. a little. Unless you watch Smart and the Celtics every night, you probably think Smart is the most overrated player in the NBA.
Smart’s DPOY win this season is a good summary of the mystery surrounding Marcus Smart. Despite his ability to switch to all positions on the defensive end (“despite” a lot of work, since only a few NBA players are as capable as Smart), overall, Smart’s defensive ability doesn’t make you Taken aback.
From a statistical standpoint, he won this award without even being the best defender on the team (Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams both have better DWS and DBPM stats than Smart). But Marcus Smart is probably more important than any player in the NBA, and you need to watch regularly to understand his unique gifts and talents.
Just look at the scoring and basketball references, and you’ll miss the game-by-play coaching and leadership that Smart brings as the de facto captain of the Boston Celtics. His genius lies in the invisible. In constant grit and hustle, diving for loose balls, fighting for rebounds, grabbing a charge at every opportunity.
You have to put up with ill-advised 3-pointers, the occasional goofy turnover, and his generally chaotic style of play to get to the magic moments that make him him, like when he returns from an injury in this one-year ECF Consuming the back three, or my personal favorite smart moment, when he double-charged James Harden late in the game to seal a 2017 win over the Houston Rockets.
Whenever you think Smart cost the Celtics a game with some stupid hero ball attempt, think about what he did to get the Celtics to where they are now, in the NBA total. Battle for Banner 18 in the final. With Marcus Smart, you have to stick with him at his worst to keep him at his best.