NBA Notebook: To right ship, Celtics should consider starting Marcus Smart

(Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports)

When Celtics training camp opened, Marcus Smart was a strong candidate to start alongside Kyrie Irving in the backcourt. However, once the 23-year-old volunteered to come off the Celtics bench, he made the decision easier for Brad Stevens.

"Coach Stevens called me in and he was talking to me, and debating whether to start me or take me off the bench," Smart said back in October. "I told him in that meeting to bring me off the bench: 'That's OK. You don't have to start me.'"

Even with Gordon Hayward going down on opening night, Smart has remained a bench mainstay. He has filled in for Irving and Jaylen Brown when they’ve been hurt, but otherwise, he has served the role as a sixth man.

For a while, the Celtics got away with a traditionally big and young starting lineup look on the wings.