It is the 2017-2018 playoffs and the Celtics have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals to play LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The series commences and the Celtics get out to a 3-2 series lead.
One more win would have brought them to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
The Celtics trouble from beyond the arc caused them to choke away games six and seven, allowing the Cavaliers to move onto the NBA Finals. A lot of the shooting troubles in this series by Boston came from guard Marcus Smart who in limited minutes was awful.
Going into next season after a disappointing playoff loss, it seemed like Smart really wanted to round out his game and become more than just a gritty defender.
Smart came into the 2018-2019 season and shot a career-high 36% from three and garnered an effective field goal percentage of 53%. For the first time in his career, Smart shot above league average from three and was now a real threat from deep.
The most impressive improvement in Smart’s shooting numbers can be seen a year later in his 2019-2020 season. Smart kept his three-point percentage at around 35% while also going from 4.3 to 6.9 three-point attempts per game.
This is an amazing accomplishment for Smart as he is now taking more threes and still making them at a similar percentage to his 2018-2019 season.
Marcus Smart now holds the Celtics franchise record for the most three-pointers in a game as he shot 11 for 22 from three in a loss to the Phoenix Suns. It is amazing to think that a player who at one point was shooting 25% from three holds this record for such a storied franchise.
Many fans may only remember Smart as the horrific shooter he used to be towards the beginning of his career. Smart has become a solid scorer, has continued to be a great passer, and has maintained the ability to guard anyone on the floor even at his small frame of 6’3”.
Marcus Smart has truly made the journey from being overrated to very underrated.
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