Marcus Smart discusses clutch 3-pointer, improving shot from deep

Brian Babineau

One of the biggest knocks on Marcus Smart coming out of Oklahoma State was that his shooting was not NBA-ready, a fact that figured to limit him offensively for at least a few seasons.

Smart hasn't exactly disproven that opinion in the first half of his rookie season - the point guard is shooting 40 percent overall and 36.3 percent on shots 10 feet or farther from the hoop. But a recent hot streak shows that his shooting may be coming along more quickly than originally expected.

In the Celtics' past 10 games, Smart has knocked down 42.9 percent of his 3-pointers, highlighted by a triple from the left corner that gave Boston a four-point lead over New Orleans with 39.7 seconds remaining. It was Smart's only 3-pointer of the night, but the rookie has made multiple shots from deep in five of his past eight games.

From Jay King of Mass Live:

"That was the biggest knock on my game coming into the league was I couldn't shoot really," Smart said. "Over the last 12 or 13 games, I think I've been shooting the ball pretty well. And I've been in the gym every day," Smart said after notching seven points and six assists without a turnover against the Pelicans. “I’m just trying to stay consistent with jumping straight up and down. Not floating to the sides, left and right. Just try to shoot the same shot.”

Truth is, Smart has actually been pretty consistent on catch-and-shoot 3's all year - Smart is shooting 41 percent in catch-and-shoot situations as opposed to 15.8 percent on pull-ups. He's eight-for-19 (42.1 percent) on corner 3-pointers this season compared to 20-for-59 (33.9 percent).

Smart's accuracy figures to improve as his career progress and he hones his shot, but improving his shot selection a bit could goose his percentage as well. If this recent stretch is more than just a small-sample hot streak, his shooting may be improving ahead of schedule.

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