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If you think I am excited about the Slash-Mates pairing of Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart in the backcourt, you are correct. In the 122-116 win over the Grizzlies, the Boston Slashers accounted for a combined 58 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists, three steals and two blocks.

The Slash-Mates (Boston Slashers?)

They combined for 21-of-30 from the field (70%) and 10-of-14 on 3-pointers (71%). For this game, Smart and Irving were Chaos and Creation - Marcus driving the Grizz nuts with his defense, and Kyrie always out there creating, even when nothing presented itself.




I made a plea on November 12th for Brad Stevens to insert Marcus Smart into the starting lineup, and Brad responded shortly thereafter. The results are evident. My argument was for Marcus to ignite his teammates from the start, but I never expected his marksmanship to improve to this level. Since his starting gig began in late November, the Celtics hold a 16-7 record, and Smart is hitting 44.2% on field goals and 41.3% from beyond the arc. And as of two days ago, before last night's game, he rose to 15th on ESPN's Real Plus/Minus rankings. His traditional Plus/Minus from last night was a team-high +23.

Since Brad Stevens experiment with with the Irving-Smart backcourt appears a roaring success, they need a moniker. Golden State has the Splash Brothers, and I like my own creation of Slash-Mates - or Boston Slashers. Let's hear some ideas. Even the big man duo of Al Horford and Aron Baynes might be called The A-Team.

My daughter, Lisa Lane McCarty, the Infamous Celtics Stalker, was at the game last night with her husband, Jim, and I am certain he welcomed the time when her she lost he voice after screaming the whole game. My apologies to those patrons in her near vicinity. But who can blame her.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC, @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images



Tom Lane 1/19/2019 05:48:00 AM Edit
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