Celtics

One tweak the Celtics should make with Marcus Smart

(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Marcus Smart entered the 2019-20 regular season with the expectation of being the sixth man for this top-heavy Celtics squad. That plan has only happened in limited windows all year long, as Smart has started over 75 percent of the games (39 of 53) that he has been healthy for due to injuries to numerous members of the starting five at various points of the season.

Instead of leading a second unit and serving as a secondary scoring option when getting chances to play with the starters, Smart has been forced into a bigger offensive role on top of his valuable defensive duties.

The end result has been a mixed bag for the Celtics nearly 75 percent of the way through the season. Smart is averaging a career-high 13.5 ppg and knocking down an acceptable 34.8 percent of his 3s despite a significant uptick in volume. That combined with a career-low turnover ratio has turned Smart in a net positive for the offense the majority of the time he’s on the floor.

As Smart has started more and more however in the past few weeks, a concerning trend for the Celtics has started for the veteran point guard. Smart is treating himself more like a featured performer in Boston’s offense and that’s a problem considering where his shots are being taken from.

75 players in the NBA are averaging 11.9 or more field goal attempts per game this season. Smart ranks 74th on that list in FG percentage, knocking down just 38 percent of his attempts per game. The only other player behind on the list is second-year Hornets guard Devonte Graham.

That type of inefficiency has been a contributor to the Celtics’ offensive woes in recent weeks. Injuries have put a bigger onus on Smart to score and that combined with Kemba Walker’s struggles, has led to some rough scoring nights. However, even with taking those two factors into account, Smart is still taking a bigger percentage of the shot pie that he’s warranted to. A good example of this is within Boston's usage