Marcus Smart healthy and focused on improving his shot

Providence Journal:

Marcus Smart knows exactly what you know about the deficiencies in his game.

He doesn’t need to be told the numbers. He’s likely had them drilled into his brain as a means of motivation.

Smart shot 34.8 percent from the floor in 61 games (10 starts) last season after shooting 36.7 percent in 67 games (38 starts) as a rookie. His 3-point numbers are even more alarming considering the share of shots that he takes behind the arc. He shot 25.3 percent on 3-pointers in 251 attempts — 45.6 percent of his shots taken overall — last season.

So when Smart was asked what needs improvement this summer while at his youth basketball camp at Brandeis University on Tuesday, he didn’t bother to come up with some qualified, colorful response to make himself look better.

“My shooting,” he said. “I know it. Everybody knows it.”

Smart is in luck, as this summer should provide the young Celtic-- now entering his third season in the NBA-- with the chance to work on his shot and anything else he wants. In his rookie year, Smart severely sprained his ankle early in the season and didn't really recover until the end of the season. Last summer, Smart dislocated several fingers on his shooting hand during summer league and then dislocated his knee once regular season play started up.

Now, starting the Summer of '16 at 100% healthy, Smart will have the chance to focus exclusively on improving for the upcoming season. Part of his process will be playing with the U.S. Olympic Developmental Camp which will act as the training camp for the 12-man roster that will represent the U.S. in Rio this summer.

“That’s a great experience,” he said. “I thank USA Basketball for giving me another opportunity to be around guys who are a high caliber of athlete and have been around the league a long period of time. They’ve had great success. You get to take and learn from those guys.”

If everything else this summer goes according to Danny Ainge's plan, he'll probably be involved in some very high-level recruiting meetings as well.

Photo Credit: Associated Press