Jayson Tatum is not worried about Marcus Smart’s ability to fill the Celtics’ most glaring hole. The rookie forward has been a big part of Boston’s success this season, but he doesn’t think his teammate is the answer for their biggest problem.
Jayson Tatum is not worried about Marcus Smart’s ability to fill the Celtics’ most glaring hole. The 22-year old has been a key player for Boston this season, averaging 18.7 points per game and shooting 52% from the field. Read more in detail here: where is jayson tatum from.
Marcus Smart’s defensive prowess has always been undeniable. It’s his attacking game that gets the most attention. Smart’s ability to play point guard and his potential as a playmaker will undoubtedly be questioned by Boston Celtics fans this season, but the 27-year-old has backing where it counts: from Jayson Tatum.
Tatum will need a solid presence at the point to help him maximize his game coming season, as he will have more responsibilities than ever before. Smart has Tatum’s full trust in his ability to address Boston’s most obvious deficiency.
Without reliable main and secondary ball-handlers, the Celtics struggled.
Gordon Hayward’s decision to join with the Charlotte Hornets in free agency last autumn altered the complexion of the Boston Celtics offense.
Hayward provided the Celtics with a crucial playmaking presence and a player who could stretch the floor and handle the ball as an undersized 4-man, despite his durability problems. Outside of Kemba Walker, who the C’s also needed to score and be more of a shot-creator, he was frequently the most plausible distributor. His departure left a huge hole in the world.
Last season, when it came to Cardiac Kemba, he had a nightmare. Due to injuries, Walker only appeared in 43 games. He watched his scoring drop once more, and as a defense, he became almost unplayable.
Even though Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown performed well, it wasn’t quite enough. Boston ended with a 36-36 record and, although winning the opening game of the play-in tournament, was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets.
That defeat brought to light the Celtics’ most serious problem. The Celtics, who were missing Brown due to injury, needed Tatum to play hero ball to even have a chance of winning. The Nets possessed great playmakers in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.
This summer, Boston’s roster has experienced even more changes. Dennis Schroder has taken over for Walker. Josh Richardson was added to the Celtics’ wing depth, while Enes Kanter and Al Horford were added to the frontcourt.
However, Marcus Smart’s ability to play point guard is likely to determine Boston’s offensive potential. Tatum claims that his colleague is up to the task.
Jayson Tatum expresses his confidence in Marcus Smart’s playmaking skills.
Marcus Smart, according to Jayson Tatum:
“Smart is a fantastic player. As effective as he is on defense, he is also an excellent playmaker, so having the ball in his hands is always a plus.”
September 28, 2021 — Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham)
The Celtics are quite optimistic about Marcus Smart’s potential heading into the season. Even after Boston signed Schroder, Smart was almost immediately named the starting point guard, despite the fact that he signed a four-year, $77 million contract.
In addition, the two-time All-Defensive pick got a glowing recommendation from his superstar colleague.
During the Celtics’ media day, Jayson Tatum described Smart as “a heck of a player.” Smart’s ability to handle the ball and generate scoring chances, he said, should be recognized alongside his defensive abilities.
“As excellent as he is on defense, his playmaking ability is second to none, so having the ball in his hands is always a plus.”
Jayson Tatum (Jayson Tatum)
Last season, Smart proved he might be a competent distributor. He had a career-high 5.7 assists per game, bringing his total to 4.2 dimes per game. As the Celtics’ main ball-handler, the Oklahoma State product will certainly have more chances to create plays.
While Tatum’s faith in Smart is commendable, there are still concerns about Smart’s ability to perform as a full-time point guard. In the past two seasons, he has shot under 40% from the field and has struggled to finish at the basket. Smart’s finishing skill wouldn’t be as important if he was a consistent three-point shooter, but he hit only 33% from three during the 2020-21 season and is a lifetime 32 percent three-point shooter.
Smart’s main offensive role will be to make the correct basketball play and set up Tatum and others to score. Still, the Celtics need him to improve his shot selection and scoring efficiency.
Tatum has progressed as a playmaker.
On May 28, 2021, in Boston, Massachusetts, Jayson Tatum reacts with Marcus Smart during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden | Getty Images/Adam Glanzman
It’s not as if Smart will be left to his own devices in terms of playmaking. Jayson Tatum has improved significantly in this area as well.
Tatum’s assist totals have increased in each of his NBA seasons. This season, he averaged 4.3 dimes, up from 3.0 the year before. Because of his three-level scoring ability, the former Duke star is tough to defend, and he seemed more at ease operating in the pick-and-roll and using rim-running bigs like Robert Williams.
Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ new head coach, is expected to put the ball in Tatum’s hands often this season. Boston’s prosperity depends on his continuing development as a superstar.
Tatum, for one, will undoubtedly want greater offensive clout. He does, though, express confidence in Smart’s ability to assist with playmaking.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
The Boston Celtics’ $77 million contract extension with Marcus Smart was a critical move.
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