ESPN's Top-100 recognizes Marcus Smart while SI ignores him

Let me start by firmly stating that if given the task of picking the top 100 NBA players for the upcoming season IN ORDER, I might be overwhelmed. So I will credit SI for simply making an inadvertent error as opposed to a willful blunder in leaving my man, Marcus Smart, out of the mix entirely. Lonzo Ball, DeMarr Carroll, Evan Fournier and Kent Bazemore are all there. Where's Marcus?

Here's my argument. There are 30 teams in the NBA and 450 players, but in reality the 100-best guys would come from the top-six or seven from every team. That looks like a pool of 180 players - so more than half of them are going to make the list.

But the Celtics are one of the best two or three best teams in the League, and every NBA fan knows they are loaded with talent. In theory, each team gets 3.3 players into the list. The weaker teams get one or two guys into the mix, while the strongest teams (Boston and Golden State) should have 6-to-8. SI listed six Celtics in their Top-100 rankings, and ESPN listed seven - the seventh one being Marcus at #55.

So SI forgets about Smart entirely, and ESPN puts him roughly into the middle portion of the rankings. ESPN was also more enthusiastic about Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown was ranked #47 in SI's analysis, while ESPN ranked him at #37.

Tatum also fared better with ESPN's rankings. He was 39th in SI's analysis and 24th in ESPN's view. This would indicate to me that SI was more conservative and passive with their outlook for Marcus and the Jay-Team, while ESPN took a more thorough look at the young guys.

While Smart mourns the loss of his beloved mother, Camellia, SI views him as a virtual non-entity. Boston's starting-five and the second-unit guards, Marcus and T-Ro need to be on any NBA Top-100 list. Period.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

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