If it wasn't for a 32-point comeback, Jayson Tatum scoring 60, and an officiating meltdown, Aaron Nesmith's recent breakout would be a much bigger story for the Boston Celtics.
He's shooting 50% from the field and 40.9% from 3 over the course of the month, but his last 5 games have been especially scorching. He's shooting 63.6% over that span and 60% (9-15) from deep. He's scored 15, 16, and 16 points off the bench in Boston's last three games, hitting 8 of 12 3-pointers. Add that to the defensive plays he's been making and Nesmith might be seizing an important role as the regular season winds down.
But let's be honest, the Celtics didn't draft Nesmith because they thought he'd be a defensive menace or an impressive offensive rebounder. They drafted him because he's a long-range bomber. They needed a long, rangy wing off the bench who could be in range the moment he stepped over half court.
One of the reasons the Celtics liked him was his natural feel for the game and where to get his shots. In true shooter fashion, Nesmith has developed a nose for knowing where to be and when in order to get himself a shot.
Watch Nesmith dancing along the right corner. As Jaylen Brown drives, Nesmith slides deeper and deeper into the corner to give Brown an out if he needs it. Once he realizes that Brown has gotten himself into trouble, he relocates to a spot where he and Brown know is the only bailout. Brown threw a pass that was more hopeful than intentional, and Nesmith wasn't just able to get to it, he slid in rhythm so he could catch and rise up.
That's not something that's planned. It's just a natural feeling a player has. He saw where the ball was going and when he caught it, it was almost as if he was dipping the ball in a natural shooting motion. It was a bailout play, but he did so naturally. It's instinctive. Here's another example.