Marcus Smart hopped into the starting lineup for the game against the New Orleans Pelicans and made an immediate impact. The Pels had 8 first quarter turnovers and Smart had involvement in each. For the entirety of the game, Smart played just under 40 minutes and proved his worth to keep starting.
Why Smart Should Start
The Celtics are at a bit of an identity crisis hovering around .500 more than 20 games into the season. Brad Stevens has tried out some lineup changes, but none has been as successful as starting Smart. The first move he attempted was taking Hayward out of the starting lineup in exchange for Aron Baynes. Boston went 1-2 in that span losing to the Hornets and Knicks. Marcus Smart brings an energy that simply can’t be matched in the NBA. He is all about making winning plays and that mentality rubs off on everybody on the court with him. Kyrie even caused a few turnovers we wouldn’t typically see last game when Smart was on the court with him. Irving had much praise for Smart calling him a “veteran…he’s played high-level basketball for the Celtics for a few years now”.
Other Lineup Possibilities
Marcus Smart is a player who I believe has proven time and time again that he is worthy of starting. However, him starting might not be the only solution to the Celtics struggles. I’ve previously recommended Tatum coming off the bench and received quite the backlash from it. I still stand by that point that the Celtics would benefit from Tatum’s scoring off the bench giving Irving all of the offense to start the games. Baynes should remain off the bench as the first support to come in for Al Horford. Al’s done a phenomenal job defensively and Baynes can provide good enough defense when needed. The key point being, Marcus Smart must stay in the lineup as it is clearly a positive having him out there.
-Brandon Black(Follow @bhblack02)
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