A solution to Marcus Smart's poor shooting - a new splint

Every Boston Celtics' fan is aware that Marcus Smart has never been the team's most efficient shooter. It's old news. But since returning from surgery on his torn thumb, he's been especially bad.

During the 2017-2018 season, with a working thumb, Smart averaged 10.2 points on .367 shooting from the field and .301 shooting from behind the arc.

In his four games this playoffs, with a dinged-up fifth finger, Marcus has put up 7.3 points on .261 hitting from the floor and .063 from deep. Yes, you read that correctly. Marcus is shooting at a horrendous clip this postseason from long range. Just 63%. Ew.

His terrible inefficiency is at least easy to explain. In the series versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Marcus went 0-8 from three-point range.

It's no surprise that he's been shooting so poorly, though. I mean, look at the splint that he's been wearing for the past four games. Look at the sheer, massiveness of that thumb cast! I'd like to see how Steph Curry or any other marksman would perform with that thing on. It'd be like playing mini golf with a 3 wood.

Not only is it just gigantic, leaving very little wiggle room for his thumb (doing its job, I suppose), but it has also caused the guard pain during games. In Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers, his thumb had to be re-taped during halftime, and similarly to how Kyrie Irving treated his mask when he fractured his face, Marcus takes off the splint every chance he gets. During shoot around after that Game 1 halftime, he was putting up jumpers, completely thumb-nude.
But it seems like the Celtics are working on a solution to help Marcus get his groove back.

So, let's hope that Marcus comes out tonight and goes full-blown 2016 Game 4 versus the Atlanta Hawks mode. He went for 20/8/5 in that game, hit a few extremely clutch threes, and made Paul Millsap his look like a little boy by absolutely shutting him down when no one else could. That game may have been Marcus's best version of himself.

Celtics vs. Sixers Game 2 is tonight at TD Garden in just a few hours. Lets go Celtics!

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Photo: USA Today