BOSTON — Brad Stevens never has thought twice about Marcus Smart shooting the basketball.
“Let it fly,” the Boston Celtics head coach said in his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Eastern Conference finals Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden.
The guard has been a difference-maker on the court this season for the C’s. Smart especially came up big for Boston in Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers, in which he corraled the game-winning steal as time expired to seal the second-round series victory.
Smart seems to find plenty of opportunities in the paint to make a big play, and Stevens doesn’t want to limit the shot selection of No. 36.
“Marcus Smart makes a ton of winning plays and because of that, he deserves to take those opportunities because we all believe he’s going to make them,” Stevens said.
Stevens wants to avoid talking about shot selection with not just Smart, but his entire Celtics team.
“I think one of the reasons why I’m hesitant to really talk shot selection is because it really would have affected me,” Stevens said. “But I want guys playing free. I want them excited to make a mistake and learn from it and move on.”
Smart was 4-for-12 from the field in Game 1 of the ECF on Sunday, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range in 24:51 of playing time. He’s certainly taking opportunities to make plays, and one can certainly make a case that he’ll be letting the ball fly in Game 2.
Just as Stevens would want him to do.