The Boston Celtics are a team deeply rooted in history, with some of the games most iconic names. Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, Paul Pierce along with countless others have all, at one point, been the cornerstone of the organization.
With this current core of the C's, there isn't one player that sticks out as the "guy". Maybe the real alpha dog for this team is the gentleman wearing the suit on the sidelines, coach Brad Stevens.
But for the sake of answering the question at hand, let's go with the men that actually run up and down the court.
One option could be Isaiah Thomas and his instant offense. During this weeks open practice at the TD Garden, the Celts pint-sized scorer was introduced last to the season ticket holders in attendance:
Isaiah Thomas the last player introduced at Celtics open practice. https://t.co/LflWpiog5U— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 29, 2015
The problem with Thomas is there's a good chance he wont sniff the starting lineup unless the Celts come out the gates lackadaisical. So can the face of your squad really be a guy coming off the bench?
So that, along with some other factors, is why my life savings of $29.67 would choose Marcus Smart.
This should be the season where Smart is handed the keys to the team. He may not be the C's best player, but he certainly has the most potential to make an impact on both ends of the floor. The 21-year-old, who will turn 22 on October 29th, battled an early ankle injury last season, which hampered his ability to get to the hoop. You have to believe a fresh summer of rest and work will improve his ability to battle his way into the paint, something that was a big part of his repertoire in college.
As the Celtics fought to make the playoffs last season, Smart's game elevated. The Celts guard dropped 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in a key victory against the Hornets on March 30th. He then followed that performance up with a buzzer beater in Toronto, a game which he ended the night producing 15 key points:
Then is last years playoffs, Smart showed consistency averaging 9.8 PPG on 48 percent shooting compared to his regular season stats of 7.8 PPG and 36 percent from the floor.
Smart, is also the Celtics most marketable and recognizable player. Nobody works harder on the defense end, a trait that will keep him on the floor for years to come, and will earn him some accolades sooner rather than later. He seems ready to have a monster year, hoping to cement what should be the beginning of long legacy in Boston:
Per CSNNE's A Sherrod Blakely:
I’m definitely a better player now. My whole game has improved. I’m looking forward to having a big year this season.
Smart sounds like a young man that gets his role, and is evolving into a leader that the Celtics desperately need. Smart is ultimately the smartest choice (see what I did there) to be the foundation of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
Photo credit: CHARLES KRUPA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Follow CelticWelch on Twitter @CelticWelch Rob Welch 10/04/2015 07:09:00 AM Tweet Edit