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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two games into his pro career, Boston Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart is shooting just 21.7 percent from the floor (5-of-23) and has made only one of 10 3-point attempts. Fellow backcourt mate Phil Pressey had simple and familiar advice for Smart: Keep shooting.

"Guys miss shots all the time in summer league and, going into the regular season, they catch fire," Pressey said. "This is what summer league is for -- for you to work on your game and try things out. I feel like he’s doing that. I'd rather him go 2-for-20 than 0-for-2 or 0-for-3 because, right now, it doesn’t count. In the regular season, it’s going to count."

With so much rumor swirl surrounding the Celtics, Rajon Rondo, potential fireworks, and what exactly the drafting of Marcus Smart means for the Celtics backcourt, it is very easy to forget that there is actual basketball happening right now. With the NBA Summer League in full swing, all eyes (at least in Boston) are on the No. 6 pick Marcus Smart, who in his second game, didn't shoot the ball all that well.

But so what? No one is faulting him for getting up to the plate and taking a few cuts.

"I couldn’t have been happier with his first summer league game and he was 2-for-8 [shooting overall] and 0-for-5 [beyond the 3-point arc]," Stevens said. "I really think he’ll grow and his shot -- I think that’s something that will come over time. I think the biggest thing is he just needs reps and belief and we’ll help him get there."

As long as he's got the faith of his coach and he keeps doing what he's doing, Marcus Smart is going to be a game changer in Boston. Since his first meeting with the team, Ainge and his staff have been remarking on his character and leadership ability. If the Rondo rumors are to believed, than character and leadership are going to be things the Celtics need a lot of.

Photo: Getty Images

Padraic O'Connor 7/09/2014 11:00:00 AM Edit
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