Why Brad Stevens Isn’t Putting Emphasis Into Marcus Smart’s Game 6 Shot Output

Smart attempted 13 3-pointers during the season-ending loss

by Sean T. McGuire

Sep 30, 2020

When the world seemed to be falling for Boston Celtics fans Sunday, one statistic sent it deeper into oblivion.

Marcus Smart attempted 13 3-pointers during Boston’s season-ending, Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat. Those were among his 22 total shots attempted.

The Celtics guard attempted more 3-pointers than Jayson Tatum (10), Kemba Walker (10) and Jaylen Brown (seven). He attempted more shots than both Brown (17) and Walker (15) with only the All-NBA Tatum attempting more (26).

It led many Celtics fans to question the team’s offensive strategy, and in some cases, blame Smart for the team’s postseason exit.

Head coach Brad Stevens, though, doesn’t see it that way. Stevens on Wednesday expressed just that while on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand.”

“One of the things about that, the way they were playing us, (there) was a lot of attention at the top of the zones, or even on the catch for certain guys was going to be more than others,” Stevens explained. “So, I thought our guys made the right pass or the right play a lot. You saw Marcus hit those shots early in the game. And I thought his best looks came in the third quarter. I thought he had a couple wide open ones in the corner, that he shoots a high percentage on.

“So, I don’t look at necessarily quantity of shots taken by each individual, I look at the quality of shots generated by our team,” Stevens continued. “And there were certainly some throughout the game, by our team, that we could’ve got better looks. But I also think we attacked a lot of what they were trying to do well. We scored 113 points in the game and didn’t convert much at the end. The deal is is that the other end of the floor, you know, I thought the really took advantage of us in several instances.”

Smart was among the Celtics most impactful players throughout their postseason run, especially his two-way production in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors. He was consistently praised for helping Boston win hard-fought games with “winning plays” down the stretch.

Now, though, the Celtics will turn the page as they take some time away before the 2021 campaign.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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