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Why Marcus Smart is a must-keep, must-start Celtic

Smart's value just got bigger with Kemba Walker's knee woes



I am amazed that Marcus Smart still has critics in Boston. He may come in second to Larry Bird as the Celtic who most-used the qualities that God or nature bestowed on him. So we need to change the photo wording "on the departure Kyrie Irving & Al Horford" to "on the worrisome knee issues of Kemba Walker".

Flash back to the 2020 post-season. Still not known as the second coming of Sam Jones, Marcus only hit 39.4% of his field goal attempts, but in the playoffs he averaged 38.1 MPG, 14.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.2 SPG. He was vital to The Green's making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

For those who weren't around, I see Smart as a hybrid combo of the Jones Boys, Sam and K. C. Sam attempted more than twice as many shots as his back-court partner, K. C., and for good reason. Sam's career FG% was .456, while K. C. hit .387 from the field.

Once Bob Cousy retired, K. C. Jones took over as point guard and was counted on to defend opponents like Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. Sam Jones was the "designated scorer". His points were much-needed in a lineup where Bill Russell, Satch Sanders and K. C. were not known as volume scorers.

For the younger fans, Marcus has some of the Dennis Johnson/Danny Ainge duo in him. He has some of DJ's locked-on defense in his game - and some of Danny's "I never saw a shot I didn't like" quality. Also kind of reminds us a bit of the late, great notorious gunner,Tommy Heinsohn.

Where Smart's points weren't counted on in the past, they are now. Kemba Walker's knee issues may not be going away soon. We may see more bench time for Kemba this regular season to keep him healthy for the playoffs.

Like him or not, Marcus Smart sticks in Boston. This hybrid of the Jones Boys can guard any opponent, supply energy right out of the gate as a starter, can be enough of a scorer to keep defenses honest, and earn the annual (and figurative) Floor Burn Award every year. He's staying and needs to start.

 

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