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It may have been a coincidence, but Marcus Smart was in the starting five, played 34 minutes and hit almost every shot he put up. He scored 15 points on seven-of-eight from the floor. He also snagged six rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals. It is noteworthy that three of his baskets came as a result of assists, two from Al Horford and one from Daniel Theis, both of whom were also starters. With some of his ball-distribution pressures lessened, in addition to getting the ball passed to him in advantageous positions, Marcus was on fire offensively.



Smart may be needed on the second unit for his passing skills, but it would seem he could be more productive offensively as a starter. Al Horford just makes every team mate better, and he may be a cure for Marcus' shooting woes.



In Game three of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smart started the game in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. He played 41 minutes, scored 27 points on eight-of-fourteen shooting. He was seven-of-ten from beyond the arc and added five rebounds and seven assists. Al Horford was also in that starting five. It seems probable that Marcus may see more shared time on the court with Al.

Danny Ainge openly admits he made a mistake not trying harder to keep Tony Allen as a Celtic. He will try not to make the same mistake with Marcus. Every team needs a Marcus Smart, and none want to play against him. If he cures his shooting woes this season, he will be in great demand by rival teams. Some tough decisions ahead. The new black Celtics uniforms are absolutely terrific - maybe the best I have ever seen. Marcus just wouldn't look right in a rival's uniform.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Nick Laham/Getty Images


Tom Lane 11/26/2017 07:05:00 AM Edit
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