Celtics lottery pick Marcus Smart is one of just two NBA rookies (along with Doug McDermott) on the USA Select Team that serves as a practice squad for the big boys headed to the World Cup of Basketball later this summer.
Training camp began on Monday, and so far the reviews of Smart's play are quite impressive:
Celtics rookie Marcus Smart really opening eyes as member of Select Team in scrimmages vs Team USA. Going up against Kyrie, Rose, Wall, etc.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 30, 2014
In his "Team USA Report" for Fox Sports Ohio, Amico states:
One player making an impression: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart, and he's not even really trying out for Team USA...But Smart has more than held his own while playing with and against the likes of Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and Derrick Rose (Bulls).
Bobby Gonzalez of Sheridan Hoops also wrote the following:
I did manage to watch the point guards a bit. Damian Lillard was disappointing, and there was a stretch where both Marcus Smart and Victor Oladipo of the Select Team flat-out took it to Wizards teammates John wall and Bradley Beal.
Rave reviews continue to pour in from Vegas from coaches in attendance on Marcus Smart & Victor Oladipo. Both impressive on practice squad.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 30, 2014
And from Jay King of Mass Live:
NBA TV televised the practice, but likes to show interviews instead of basketball action between some of the world's best players. So I only saw brief snippets, during which Smart looked to be at least holding his own defensively. He (naturally) looked absolutely huge for a point guard, and he also drilled a series of threes, which was neat.
Marcus Smart is lighting it up. Just hit three consecutive 3s at #USAmbb minicamp
— Matt Gibson (@DimeMatt) July 29, 2014
Admittedly this is all probably the same reaction to one brief stretch of basketball (described below by John Schuhmann of NBA.com), but it's got to excite Celtics fans to hear this stuff about Smart.
White 1 [Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis] built a 14-2 lead against its Select opponents, but then the group of Marcus Smart, Victor Oladipo, Doug McDermott, Draymond Green and Cody Zeller came back against White 2 [John Wall, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward and DeMarcus Cousins] to win the 10-minute scrimmage, 22-21, with Oladipo hitting the scrimmage-winning three from the right wing with two seconds left off a Smart/Green pick-and-roll.
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Mark Vandeusen 7/30/2014 02:15:00 PM Tweet