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Marcus Smart is the type of player you don't want to ever leave the team. His shooting from the floor and beyond the arc is abysmal, but his overall production would be very hard to replace. For this season he is averaging 9.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.8 APG and 1.7 SPG. But his averages on FG's and three's are both 29.1%, horrible averages and some of the worst in NBA history. Who cares? Not Coach Brad Stevens. Here is ESPN's Chris Forsberg with Stevens' thoughts on Marcus:

But Stevens can't take him off the floor.

"You know what? I've said this before. Hey, Marcus could score 30 in a game and hit every shot, or he could score zero and not hit his shots, and his two biggest strengths are still his competitiveness and his brains," Stevens said. "He's really smart, and he's really tough. And those two things mean more than any points or no points that he could score.

With a linebacker's body and mindset, Marcus plays all out. No opponent wants to go up against him. There is a real fear factor there. he is the guy you want on your team, but you certainly don't want him as an opponent guarding you. His team mates feel the same. Here are Danny Ainge's comments via NBC's A. Sherrod Blakely:

Listen, Marcus is one of the favorite players in our locker room by each one of his teammates. If there was a pickup game going on and the players themselves were picking sides, Marcus would be the first, second or third player picked every time because nobody wants to play against him and that’s why they love having him on their team.


Smart's pluses far outweigh the minus of his poor shooting. He is a fine passer and looks to get his teammates involved. He is an excellent rebounder for a guard, and a great defender. And he makes key plays to help win games, all while keeping complaints and behavior under control. His energy is relentless and infectious. Marcus will be a restricted free agent this coming summer, and his play this season will determine his worth, for the Celtics and other teams. It would be tough to lose him. None of the present Celtics would want to face him as an opponent.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

Tom Lane 11/14/2017 12:23:00 PM Edit
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