Video evidence that Marcus Smart really can drive to the basket (and he's getting better)

In Marcus Smart's last three games, he's looked more and more like the Celtics' starting point guard of the future right now.  Last Wednesday in a win over the Nuggets he put up four points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.  On Friday Smart posted another Rondo-esque stat line of three points, eight assists and seven rebounds in Boston's victory over the 76ers.

In the tight loss in Milwaukee on Saturday, Smart scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds, but dished out only one assist.  However, he made up for the poor assist number by doing something Celtics fans have been begging for--Smart started taking the ball to the hoop:

Mass Live's Jay King broke down these two plays by saying:

Notice, though, how Smart didn't need to make any advanced dribble moves to get to the rim. He reached the paint the same way he did in college: by spotting a crack in the defensive coverage, then being stronger and bigger than his competition. 
Obviously, the two straight-line drives worked. Smart is strong enough and long enough to achieve some separation against a lone defender. He typically makes wise decisions, too. Since the beginning of January, he owns a 3.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which would rank fourth in the NBA for the entire season.

CelticsLife's Cup of Joe column this morning took a look at Smart's rising number of free-throw attempts.  Since taking over the starting point guard job four games ago, he's driving to the basket with a greater frequency and getting to the line more often.

Yes, this is a small sample size, but don't forget that Smart is a 20-year-old rookie who's played a total of 36 NBA games.  It's OK if we have to be a little patient with his development.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan