Tag Archives: Marcus Smart

The Celtics Latest Performance(s) and Our Expectations of Them

I have neglected my beloved Celtics for some time now, I know. Maybe because the very idea of not seeing Kyrie break ankles for the rest of the season devastates me. Or because I don’t get to see Marcus Smart’s energy and routine sacrifices on defense. It could be because one of our most dynamic bigs (who also happens to be a 25-year old rookie) has been and will be out for the rest of the season. Quite possibly—it could be all three. mass live KI, MS JB

Stepping Up Big

My depression of key pieces lost should not take away from what this team has been able to do in their absence. Since March 11th, which we can argue is when everyone started dropping like flies, the guys are 5-3. One of those losses was a thrilling double-OT against the Wizards, which was hard fought. The wins included another thriller against OKC and a come-from-behind-rally in the fourth against Portland. So who do we have to thank?

  • Al Horford: I’m not going to give you his stat line for this period because it doesn’t matter, not really. All that matters is what he brings to this team, especially when Kyrie isn’t there. This athletic PF can play C AND run an offense, which is the most important in this case. He doesn’t always have to give you 15 points to make a difference.
  • Jayson Tatum: the rookie had been climbing his way out of his slump and it looks like he’s back to early season form. His stat line for the last eight games: 17.5 pts, 2.4 ast, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 50% from the floor.
  • Terry Rozier: Its not surprise this guy continues to have an impact. He stepped up the first time Kyrie had to sit out, recording a triple-double in his first career start. Not to mention the very next game he recorded a career-high 31 points. Well, he topped that in the game against the Kings by recording 33 points. His last eight games: 18.3 pts, 4.4 ast, 6 rbs, and shooting 40% from the floor.
  • Marcus Morris: this guy has always been our dark horse. People are still surprised boston cbslocal celticsto see when he is a top scorer for the team or when he hits the game winning three. I’m not sure why because his style of play is the reason why we wanted him in the first place. His last 7 games (missed one due to an ankle): 19.7 pts, 5.6 rbs, and shooting 51% from the floor.
  • Greg Monroe: special shout out to Moose Monroe and his last eight games: 11.5 pts, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 52% from the floor. I knew he would be a great addition to the team and he’s been getting it done in the paint/post for us. Let’s hope it continues.
  • Brad Stevens: just four words–> COACH OF THE YEAR. That’s all.

I pointed out specific members of the team, but of course there are others who contribute in important ways as well. Together they succeed, not individually.

But What Expectations Should We Have?

I mentioned this a bit before in another (very) short article but I will say it again. This team has already exceeded the expectations of everyone. When Gordon Hayward went down, no one thought the Celtics would subsequently go on a 16-game win streak and hold the top spot in the East for the majority of the season. But they did, and I couldn’t be more proud. So with that being said, I’m going to be realistic. This team could more than likely make it past a first round match up and depending on the opponent, maybe a second. Though, I’m not really looking for them  to have some sort of Cinderella not really) run like they did last year. It should be seen as an opportunity to gain experience in a play off atmosphere for those who haven’t experienced it yet. So, for those who are saddened by the multiple injuries, don’t be. What has happened this season wasn’t even supposed to. But yes, we will continue to support our Celtics for as long as they stay alive. And we will also get excited for what’s to come next season: healthy roster full of talented young players.

Watch the Celtics go for 5 straight tonight against the Jazz on ESPN/ NBC Sports Boston.

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Can Celtics Take Back #1 Seed?

The Celtics have a two game home stand that starts tonight before they head out to Houston to face the Rockets. I know they are hoping to continue this winning streak, replicating what they were able to do their last two games. Well, they struggled a bit against the Knicks, but thy still came out with a win.

Return of Marcus Smartmarcus smart

Marcus sat out for a while with a hand injury he suffered on the west coast road trip in late January. His name was also thrown around during the trade deadline, with the Grizzlies hoping to get him for either a 1st round pick or Tyreke Evans. Now most thought that would have been ‘smart’, considering Evans averages about 20 points a game. I bet those fools are glad that Danny loves Marcus too much to give him up, because our defense has improved dramatically since his return. I know it’s only been two games, but you can see a difference in the team as a whole. Just go back and watch the end of that game against Detroit, where 8 missed shots were forced by the Cs — and Smart was on the floor for that.  My point is, our defensive flame is back and burning bright.

Upcoming Opponents

The next five games look something like this for the Celtics:

  • 2/26, v. Grizzlies
  • 2/28 v. Hornets
  • 3/3 @ Rockets
  • 3/5@ Bulls
  • 3/8 @ Timberwolves

The first two are winnable, and with the production of the bench as of late, the starters shouldn’t have to exert much energy. This is key with the road trip coming up. The Rockets and Timberwolves are no joke, even though the Celtics have beaten them AND held them under 100 points. The Rockets are nearly unstoppable when Paul, Harden and Capela play. The Wolves will be without Butler, but that won’t make a difference because the team is rife with talent. The Cs are going to need Monroe to shine in these games, especially with Baynes dealing with an elbow. He can’t keep missing those put backs!

Toronto’s next five games are VERY winnable. But I don’t expect the Pistons and Wizards to go down without a fight. Besides, the Raptors lost in OT to the Bucks, so they aren’t invincible. Though, I will add that if the playoffs started today, Toronto gets Miami and Boston gets Philly. I mean, of course we want the #1 seed, but as long as our Kryptonite sits at #8, we’ll take the #2.