Many of us keep wondering why the hell Marcus Smart, he-of-the-horrendous-shot-selection, is so damn valuable to the Celtics. A new Hustle statistic tracking player box-outs has been added by the NBA this season, and Marcus is right up there. No shocker there.

I take nothing at face value, so I needed to verify the information in the above tweet. It is correct. For NBA guards, Smart leads the League in box-outs, and the same holds for all players, at any position, under 6-feet tall. Just for the record, he is also 7th among NBA guards in charges-drawn and 12th in deflections. Here is information on the new stat via the NBA's Brian Martin:

The NBA introduced hustle stats during the 2016 Playoffs to finally measure the effort plays that “don’t always show up in the box score” but are so important for team success.

After beginning with deflections, loose ball recoveries, screen assists, charges drawn and contested shots, now box outs are available for all players and teams for the 2017-18 season.

The importance of boxing out an opponent has been drilled into basketball players from day one. When a shot goes up, don’t just stare at the ball and watch what happens, get a body on someone so you’re in position to secure the rebound in case the shot misses.

Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis are no slouches on box-outs either. For per-36-minutes and a minimum of 40 games played, Aron is ranked 4th in box-outs and Daniel is next at 5th place.

Smart's hustle and defense are well-chronicled. The above numbers display his value on hustle. Part 2 will take a look at his advanced defensive stats versus the Golden State Warriors on November 16, 2017. All Celtics fans hope the Boston vs. Golden State playoff matchup will happen, and the numbers are quite graphic.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Harry Howe/Getty Images/AFP

Tom Lane 2/21/2018 08:42:00 AM Edit
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