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Marcus Smart needs to remain in the starting unit upon Jaylen Brown's return

It was roughly a year ago that I wrote about the necessity of moving Marcus Smart into the starting unit. The Celtics were off to a rough start for the season, and I argued that Smart's intensity was needed right out of the gate. It didn't take Brad Stevens long to make the adjustment. Marcus started at shooting guard on November 26, 2018 versus the Pelicans, with Boston taking the game by the convincing score of 124-107.


Jaylen Brown has been out of action with an illness but may return tonight against the Charlotte Hornets. I present two arguments for him coming off the bench. The first is that the Celtics are blessed this season with a bevy of scoring machines.


The team needs one of the scoring-quartet to play on the second unit, and Brown may be the best choice. He has his new contract extension, so there is no pressure to play well in a contract year. My second argument is that Marcus Smart needs to be assigned to cover the opposition's top player, whatever position or size of the opponent. Point guard, Shooting guard, wing, center? It doesn't matter. Smart has proven repeatedly that he can handle virtually any player.

And his intensity and ferocious defense is required right out of the gate. That hasn't changed from last season. But the question arises - who directs the offense on the second unit? Rookie Carsen Edwards is primarily a score-first guard and adequate defender. But he very well could blossom into a two-position player, putting up points and facilitating the offense. If any of this fails, look to Brad Stevens to add a pure point guard to the team to take on second-unit direction duties.

Boston currently sits in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 5-1 record. Danny Ainge has his eyes set on a possible Title this season, and he will do what is necessary to achieve it. Don't rule out the possibility of a veteran point guard being added to the mix via trade or buyout. The Lakers Rajon Rondo comes to mind. Anthony Davis loves the guy, but Lebron James may prefer to move on without him. Rondo can be opinionated, but he is one of the smartest players in the League and a proven vet, particularly in the post-season. Hey, "anything can happen." Gonna be a great season.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook



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