The goal of a basketball game is quite simple: to put more balls in the basket than the other team. Complicated things lie in the “how” part of this equation, but whether a team tries to shoot 35 feet away or tries to prevent opponents from getting buckets is all part of the story. same goal.
You have to make more baskets than them.
Boston Celtics start the season without two of their best baskets. The loss of Gordon Hayward and the Kemba Walker’s delayed return leaves 28 points unrecorded from the league’s fourth best offense last season. With a week to go until the first preseason game and two to go into the season, the Celtics don’t have much time to find them.
“We will try to be ready as quickly as possible”, Brad Stevens told the media this weekend. “It won’t be a full squad for this first part of the season, which is why it’s important that we find a few guys who can have an impact on winning against the best of the best. It will be quite a challenge. “
Marcus Intelligent is going to have to accept part of that challenge. The last two seasons have been his two best offensives, but he will need to expand his attacking role further to make up for his lack of oomph. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will undoubtedly be the better two options, but Smart will have to spend quite a bit of time as option number three, a significantly increased attacking role over what he’s had in the past.
While he’s set to score more, Stevens says you might not notice much stylistically different.
“I don’t think we’re going to play any different, as far as he is concerned,” Stevens said in his media session on Monday. “I think the most important thing is to play with the strength of each individual. Marcus has obviously improved his shot, especially in the catch-and-shoots, excluding actions he’s always been a guy who read the game well so we’ll play it pick-and-roll, we’ll post it to him for matchup benefits. Nothing much different from what you have seen before.
Smart’s greatest offensive strength is its overtaking. Eventually, he and Tristan Thompson could combine to become a fun pick-and-roll combination, which can open up opportunities for additional assistance when collapsed defenses leave shooters a little too open on the wings. Smart’s 4.9 assists per game was a career record, and his 21.1% assists percentage was his third best. In that role, the Celtics hope he increases those numbers while continuing to be an average 3-point shooter. Nothing more can interfere with what Smart does well.
“I think one of the things you don’t want to do is walk away from guys’ strengths,” Stevens said. “What we have to do, because we’re late scorers, is obviously play with our best players, but then the strengths of the others have to complement them. Other guys have strengths that we can use to help put the ball in the basket as well. “
Smart’s defense is still his bread and butter, and that will be his biggest contribution to the basket equation. His strong point is preventing buckets, but he’s going to have to do a bit more to help the Celtics win games. As long as he stays within himself and doesn’t stray from what he does best, he could provide the Celtics with just enough on the offensive side to help them make up for what they’ve lost.