Marcus Smart’s performance in the Celtics’ Game 1 blowout win over the 76ers perfectly embodies his value. Despite the wretched-looking three-point attempts and blown jump shots, Smart was one of the most important players on the floor for extended pieces of the contest. And one play in particular showed why the 2014 first-round pick can still have a big impact while shooting just 25 percent from the field.
Late in the third quarter, with the Celtics up by 14 points, Smart battled the monstrous Joel Embiid for a rebound in the paint. Smart, who stands at 6-foot-4, successfully blocked out Embiid’s 7-foot frame. Moments later, Smart muscled his way to the rim for a put-back layup to continue Boston’s run.
— NBA (@NBA) May 1, 2018
Embiid, who scored 31 points Monday, was Philadelphia’s best player on the floor. But he was no match for Smart on that particular play. Smart just bullied him in the paint.
In addition, Smart’s tenacious defense was one of the main reasons Ben Simmons had such an erratic performance. The rookie sensation turned the ball over seven times and only attempted 11 shots –– never appearing comfortable on the floor.
Smart’s return from thumb surgery provided a big lift for the Celtics in their series win over the Bucks. It looks like he’s primed to offer a similar boost against the 76ers, even while he clanks ill-advised field goal attempts from beyond the arc.
Full article @ Marcus Smart played perfect Marcus Smart game in win over 76ers
Source: GreenStreet Blog