Marcus Smart found himself in a new role Monday night, and he relished the opportunity.
With Jaylen Brown nursing a sore tailbone, head coach Brad Stevens elected to shift Smart to the starting lineup for the Boston Celtics’ matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. While Smart didn’t stuff the stat sheet (eight points, five rebounds) he provided the starting five with a jolt it desperately needed, which conveyed into a 17-point win.
Monday’s performance leads one to believe that Stevens will continue to use Smart as a starter, at least while Brown is sidelined. But as Stevens pointed out Wednesday, there is an issue that comes with that particular personnel move.
Smart has shined in his role as the sixth man since his arrival in Boston. His unmatched energy and intensity are invaluable assets for the Celtics, but the pesky guard reaffirmed Wednesday that he’ll be able to provide those intangibles regardless of his role.
Boston will look notch its second straight win Friday night when it welcomes the Cleveland Cavaliers to TD Garden, which very well could mark Smart’s second straight start.
Regardless of who Stevens trots out there, the Celtics should be able to pick up a victory over the Cavs, who currently own the NBA’s second-worst record at 4-15.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports