Pacers game reveals why Danny Ainge seems locked into Marcus Smart

The Celtics lost to the Pacers and Marcus Smart only scored three points in 23 minutes on 1-of-7 shooting. So he must have been part of the reason for the loss, right? We can always argue if he had made one more three-pointer, Boston may have won the game, but we have to look at everything else.

Marcus added nine rebounds and three blocks to his low point total, and he only racked up two turnovers. Despite the loss, his plus/minus was a game-high +12. Smart's net rating for the game was a team-high +24.2, and the next-closest to that number was Kyrie Irving's 13.8. To simplify, his team lost the game by one point, giving Boston a net rating of -1. Yet, the difference between Smart's Offensive Rating of 113.0 and Defensive Rating of 88.9 was a +24.2. That is revealing.

Smart's assist percentage (% of field goals he assisted while on the court) was also a team-high 47.4%. Marcus has been a top defender almost since his rookie year, but he has learned to be a willing and talented assist guy. He looks to make the pass to the right teammate at the right spot and time. He is a dogged defender that can literally guard anyone. Smart is super-aggressive on defense but is not foul prone.
And thankfully, he didn't take more than seven shots in the game, because he may never be a reliable shooter in the League. It seems Danny Ainge and most of us love the guy. This in part tells us why!

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Photo via Matt Stone/Boston Herald