Ten days ago many members of Celtic nation responded to a recent ESPN rookie ranking that had Marcus Smart as the twelfth best rookie as if it was a direct insult to a family member. How dare they, right? How could they say THIS about our Marcus? TWELFTH?! Surely they must have mistaken him for another rookie, right?

After the internet rage faded and we got a moment to think, it became obvious - Clearly, this list, made by David Thorpe (who is usually an excellent talent evaluator), was made by a guy who doesn't get the opportunity to watch the Boston Celtics all that frequently. He doesn't get the chance to see what we see every night. The things Marcus Smart does on the basketball court. The impact he has on da game. The intensity. The competitive fire. This awesome, pitbull-like mentality he has, where if you take the ball from him, he's going to do his damnest to make sure he gets the ball right back for his team.

If you're just looking at box scores you're completely missing the things Marcus Smart does so well. Last night, just another example; 5 points on 2 for 8 shooting, 3 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. That's the kind of stat line of the 12th best rookie in the league, right?

But stats don't make the man. A standard box score doesn't acknowledge how Smart realizes the Celtics need to get into a dogfight to win games, how he won't back down from Memphis grid-n-grind approach. It won't show you how he electrified the crowd with this emasculating block on Courtney Lee, or another crucial fast break stop. It won't show the guy whose fearlessly in the paint on help defense, preparing himself to take on a body blow from Marc Gasol, a man whose about twice his size, like there isn't another option. And it sure as hell doesn't show this awesome game-tying alley-oop and his continuous pension for showing up when it counts the most.

The stat line might show Smart as mediocre, but that's not what he is. Nope. Marcus Smart is dope.

Start Your Morning Off With... Cool Story, Glenn (pt. 2)

Vintage WTHHT: What the Hell Happened To... Jiri Welsch
authored by TB727

He was supposed to be the next Danny Ainge but he couldn't polish Danny's shoes. In fact I've heard he had to be included in the Antoine for Raef deal in order for it to go through (for the Celtics). Danny Ainge thought he was acquiring a real talent with Jiri Welsch. He wasn't.

After playing for Golden State for just 37 games, Dallas acquired him. Two months later in October of 2003, before even playing in Dallas, Welsch was included in the Antoine Walker deal along with the corpse of Chris Mills, and Raef Lafrentz for Antoine and Tony Delk and a future pick (which became Delonte West). He played for the Celtics that season and actually averaged 12 ppg on that disastrous 2004 team, which was crushed by the Pacers in the first round (one of the low moments of me being a C's fan- that series was sickening to watch). The following season, after having Ricky Davis in the fold along with Pierce, Gary Payton and Antoine Walker, Danny wisely traded him to Cleveland for a first round pick. At the time it wasn't the wisest decision but when Cleveland in turn traded him to Milwaukee the following season for a 2nd round pick, you knew Ainge had made the right move.

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MattDotRich 3/12/2015 09:11:00 AM Edit
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