Getting Smart with Statistics

InstaFace

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The other Marcus Smart thread is a bit of a bummer so I'm attacking the thread's title with this graphic from tonight's postgame show:

 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The other Marcus Smart thread is a bit of a bummer so I'm attacking the thread's title with this graphic from tonight's postgame show:

Stats don't matter but MS is hitting close to .400% from 3P since 11.03.

If he keeps shooting like that, DA has another bargain on his hands.

Yes, those numbers are somewhat cherry-picked but he's still shooting .360 from 3P since 10.30 on something like 60 attempts.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The other Marcus Smart thread is a bit of a bummer so I'm attacking the thread's title with this graphic from tonight's postgame show:

That other thread was a bummer because prior to Smart signing his contract he was still an unconscious gunner for being such an awful shooter. Now that he has the security of a new contract he can settle into a role best utilizing his skillset without having to try and put numbers up. The result is a much better player for this Celtics team.
 

JakeRae

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That other thread was a bummer because prior to Smart signing his contract he was still an unconscious gunner for being such an awful shooter. Now that he has the security of a new contract he can settle into a role best utilizing his skillset without having to try and put numbers up. The result is a much better player for this Celtics team.
Smart has never been an "unconscious gunner" although he has also historically not had the best shot selection. Still, he's never had a usage percentage over 20, which I would think makes the gunner label inappropriate.

The general trend is true though, he is shooting much less this year and that might be a very good thing since he's always been a passable shooter on good looks. (He's not a good shooter by any stretch.)

As for the comment on the thread title above, the premise of the thread was to ask is there a way to capture Smart's impact statistically because even advanced stats like RPM seem to fail at it. In other words, the image posted by InstaFace is fundamentally consistent with the title and premise of this thread outside of the fact that I was hoping we might have a better answer than that in the graphic.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Smart has never been an "unconscious gunner"[/B] although he has also historically not had the best shot selection. Still, he's never had a usage percentage over 20, which I would think makes the gunner label inappropriate.

The general trend is true though, he is shooting much less this year and that might be a very good thing since he's always been a passable shooter on good looks. (He's not a good shooter by any stretch.)

As for the comment on the thread title above, the premise of the thread was to ask is there a way to capture Smart's impact statistically because even advanced stats like RPM seem to fail at it. In other words, the image posted by InstaFace is fundamentally consistent with the title and premise of this thread outside of the fact that I was hoping we might have a better answer than that in the graphic.
You conveniently edited my statement to not reflect its meaning. "For being such an awful shooter" his shot selection was hurting his overall production.
 

lovegtm

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That other thread was a bummer because prior to Smart signing his contract he was still an unconscious gunner for being such an awful shooter. Now that he has the security of a new contract he can settle into a role best utilizing his skillset without having to try and put numbers up. The result is a much better player for this Celtics team.
Agree--is there any reason Smart can't start for a championship team? He's completely excised his bad 2s, and his 3-point shooting is right in line with Draymond's (aside from Green's 2015-2016 outlier). I think in the back of everyone's mind there's the fear he'll get Tony Allen'd in the playoffs, but there's no evidence that will happen at this point. Marcus runs the offense well, unlocks Off-Ball Kyrie, and takes the defense from "good rating but not scaring anyone" to "terrifying when locked in."

Smart has had to be a swiss-army knife his whole career, which has meant having to be the guy who fills in in oddball lineups and doesn't get to maximize his own potential. The new starting/closing lineups, however, feel like they're tailor-made for him to show off what he can do.

And he's only 24.
 

lovegtm

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No, though it would have to be the right team (ie, one that can forego any kind of scoring/spot up shooting contribution from him).
Exactly, so the current Celtics' starting lineup with Hayward or Morris is a better situation for him than almost any in the league.

I was bored this morning and watching highlights; found this clip of Smart against the Pelicans (at 0:21):

Other teams had been destroying the Celtics this year with PnR with an empty weakside. Watch how Smart immediately knows why his guy is cutting out of the strongside, stays in the paint, avoids the 3-second call, and completely mucks up the play when Davis rolls. Stuff like this completely stops other teams from getting comfortable early, which had been killing us this year, even with the good overall defensive rating.

(Note that Kyrie anticipates the play perfectly too, and does a great job zoning up the area that Smart vacates. Having two guards with really, really high BBIQs who are completely committed to defense could take the Celtics to another level).
 

Eddie Jurak

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Other teams had been destroying the Celtics this year with PnR with an empty weakside. Watch how Smart immediately knows why his guy is cutting out of the strongside, stays in the paint, avoids the 3-second call, and completely mucks up the play when Davis rolls. Stuff like this completely stops other teams from getting comfortable early, which had been killing us this year, even with the good overall defensive rating.
Yes. On defense, Smart sees and reads the devleoping play the same way great offensive players do at the other end. He'll also box out a center when the play calls for it. Unique player.
 

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No, though it would have to be the right team (ie, one that can forego any kind of scoring/spot up shooting contribution from him).
That's fine, the Celtics don't need Marcus to be a scorer/spot-up shooter. The Celts first 20 games was 5 starters that consider themselves scorers/spot-up shooters. And that was certainly no offensive juggernaut. That offense was basically 5 guys standing around the perimeter, occasionally setting weak screens and no one going to the hoop to establish position. No physicality, everyone looking for their shot. When you do that it makes it very easy for a defense to dictate the game. Plus it's difficult for those 5 scorers to get into any kind of offensive rhythm.

By adding Smart or Baynes or Theis to a rotation, you have players willing to set hard screens for the most skilled offensive players and deferring shots to the Celtics highest % shooters (Kyrie, Tatum, MaMo). In addition to that, when playing Smart/Baynes/Theis you get more tip outs, more box outs, more rebounding, physical defense, and more GRIT.

Even the Golden State Warriors infamous Hampton's 5 line-up contains Draymond Green, who wouldn't be labeled a scorer/spot up shooter.
 

oumbi

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Yes. On defense, Smart sees and reads the devleoping play the same way great offensive players do at the other end. He'll also box out a center when the play calls for it. Unique player.
Yes, though what impressed me most about the video above was how Smart plays through picks to keep with his man. He consistently gets through the pick between his man and the pick, not giving the offensive player a gap to shoot.

I do love Smart.
 

lovegtm

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That's fine, the Celtics don't need Marcus to be a scorer/spot-up shooter. The Celts first 20 games was 5 starters that consider themselves scorers/spot-up shooters. And that was certainly no offensive juggernaut. That offense was basically 5 guys standing around the perimeter, occasionally setting weak screens and no one going to the hoop to establish position. No physicality, everyone looking for their shot. When you do that it makes it very easy for a defense to dictate the game. Plus it's difficult for those 5 scorers to get into any kind of offensive rhythm.

By adding Smart or Baynes or Theis to a rotation, you have players willing to set hard screens for the most skilled offensive players and deferring shots to the Celtics highest % shooters (Kyrie, Tatum, MaMo). In addition to that, when playing Smart/Baynes/Theis you get more tip outs, more box outs, more rebounding, physical defense, and more GRIT.

Even the Golden State Warriors infamous Hampton's 5 line-up contains Draymond Green, who wouldn't be labeled a scorer/spot up shooter.
I think EJ's point was that the Celtics' starting lineup is one of the few ecosystems in the league in which Smart is a massive plus.
 

benhogan

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I think EJ's point was that the Celtics' starting lineup is one of the few ecosystems in the league in which Smart is a massive plus.
Fair enough. But really any rotation that has 3 or 4+ offensive players/shooters on it would benefit having Marcus on it (instead of another offense first player)
 

DrewDawg

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Stats don't matter but MS is hitting close to .400% from 3P since 11.03.

If he keeps shooting like that, DA has another bargain on his hands.

Yes, those numbers are somewhat cherry-picked but he's still shooting .360 from 3P since 10.30 on something like 60 attempts.
I think I saw a tweet that said his TS% the last 6 games is something like 64%
 

lovegtm

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Fair enough. But really any rotation that has 3 or 4+ offensive players/shooters on it would benefit having Marcus on it (instead of another offense first player)
Definitely, and we're seeing that addition by subtraction (scorer-wise) very clearly now with Smart replacing Jaylen. I doubt this is lost on Brad.

Stats don't matter but MS is hitting close to .400% from 3P since 11.03.

If he keeps shooting like that, DA has another bargain on his hands.

Yes, those numbers are somewhat cherry-picked but he's still shooting .360 from 3P since 10.30 on something like 60 attempts.
His stroke looks clean enough now that it's not crazy to imagine he can shoot 35%ish going forward on open looks in rhythm.
 

bosox79

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ignoring Smart's rookie year, his FG% have improved from .348 to .359 to .367 to .390 so far this year, his 3P% from .253 to .283 to .301 to .321 this year.

Hell, I'd do cartwheels if he can get those numbers to .400/.333.
 

mcpickl

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Much to the dismay of benhogan as Baynes, Theis, and TimeLord were rendered helpless on the bench next to Brad.
Probably could've used one of them late in the fourth and OT when Wall was just rampaging to the rim every trip down the floor.
 

the moops

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Probably could've used one of them late in the fourth and OT when Wall was just rampaging to the rim every trip down the floor.
Or, WAS would just do what they did regardless and get the switch with Wall with a full head of steam. It was defensive scheme against Wall that was poor, not the defender
 

InstaFace

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That was the Marcus Smartiest game of the year, by far. His offensive statistics don't even come close to telling the tale. He was a straight menace on defense, just incredible focus on every single play, gave up on nothing, and made play after play. The announcers basically didn't stop talking about him until Kyrie took over at the end of the game. A career highlight game for Smart, right up there with the Houston comeback from just under a year ago. What a fucking performance.
 

benhogan

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Much to the dismay of benhogan as Baynes, Theis, and TimeLord were rendered helpless on the bench next to Brad.
I love me some Marcus (see post #660 above), but playing him at the 5 is just more proof of Brad going incessantly small. There was absolutely no need to have Rozier on the floor, when you have offensive stars like Kyrie, Tatum, MaMo as your first, second and third offensive options. Give me a rim protector, a defense-first role player in that situation (ie TL, Baynes) to round out that rotation.

The last time TL was on the floor he got switched on to Wall, he played off Wall and protected the rim. Wall stopped and missed a mid-range 2, which is better than giving up a layup.

Maybe next time instead of Marcus playing the 5, Brad will put Smart on Wall and stop that layup drill.
 

joe dokes

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The last time TL was on the floor he got switched on to Wall, he played off Wall and protected the rim. Wall stopped and missed a mid-range 2, which is better than giving up a layup.

.
But didn't Wall go around him the 412 times before that on the same switch? It seems like Wash was aiming for that matchup.
 

bosox79

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But didn't Wall go around him the 412 times before that on the same switch? It seems like Wash was aiming for that matchup.
It's just another quick guard giving Boston trouble. It's been a problem all year.
 

teddykgb

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But didn't Wall go around him the 412 times before that on the same switch? It seems like Wash was aiming for that matchup.
Yes, WAS were dying for that matchup and sought it out repeatedly. I don’t know what it is about Washington that makes us so switch happy but we were giving them whatever 1 on 1 matchup they wanted by religiously switching all screens. They knew it and our corollary is to play as switchable a lineup as possible to downplay the impact. Williams has a few tough minutes in the middle of the game where they exploited him on the switch and his willingness to commit to block shots. This is fine, he’s a rookie, but it would have been risky to have him out there knowing the wiz were just going to isolate him. I might have tried it since we were conceding layup after layup but it would have been a very tough spot to put the kid in. For whatever reason, we seemed to really want Marcus on Beal, probably prefer to force them to make 2s over 3s. They really made us pay the few times we did collapse the paint with wide open kick 3s
 

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I know it drives some posters here crazy but Scal's seemingly endless praise for Smart's defense is entirely justified. The guy's motor is well documented but his IQ in diagnosing opposing team's actions as well as his understanding of how to take away space or get in passing lanes are what makes him such a force.

I get that offensive skills are what fans pay to see but watching players like Smart consistently disrupt an opponents offense is one of my favorite things about watching the NBA.

Every successful team needs someone who does the hard-to-measure dirty work that contributes to winning. Smart doesn't just embrace this role - he lives it.
 

Van Everyman

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It's just another quick guard giving Boston trouble. It's been a problem all year.
Yeah, but this was Wall just running past guys to the rim. The thing you’re talking about has been guards getting open looks all game, draining them and getting hot. It seems more a product of scheme – perhaps Brad trying to have Kyrie play more aggressively and getting burned semi-regularly. Perhaps something else. Regardless, that hasn’t been a problem during this 7-0 streak I don’t think.
 

Van Everyman

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I wonder too whether they are experimenting with some new scheme this year to exploit Smart’s skillset. Brad talked before the Pelicans game about Smart being able to effectively freelance to disrupt the ball – and how he encourages it. I’ve never seen a guy—certainly not a 6’4” guy—used that way on defense. It would explain why they’ve had some lapses at times and periodic confusion among the younger guys.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yes, WAS were dying for that matchup and sought it out repeatedly. I don’t know what it is about Washington that makes us so switch happy but we were giving them whatever 1 on 1 matchup they wanted by religiously switching all screens. They knew it and our corollary is to play as switchable a lineup as possible to downplay the impact.
It is that Washington knows that teams HAVE to switch as they cannot keep Wall in front of them otherwise. So now they know a switch is coming and can dictate matchups based solely on Wall’s ability to create those switches. It isn’t only Boston.....they do this to nearly everyone but it is an especially terrible matchup for Kyrie.


Williams has a few tough minutes in the middle of the game where they exploited him on the switch and his willingness to commit to block shots. This is fine, he’s a rookie, but it would have been risky to have him out there knowing the wiz were just going to isolate him. I might have tried it since we were conceding layup after layup but it would have been a very tough spot to put the kid in.
Brad did the right thing here. It goes back to what I talked about yesterday in protecting his rotation bigs from matchups designed to exploit them. Spotting TL minutes is fine but it isn’t fair to him or the teams defense to put him in unfavorable positions against Wall who can dictate these mismatches.

For whatever reason, we seemed to really want Marcus on Beal, probably prefer to force them to make 2s over 3s. They really made us pay the few times we did collapse the paint with wide open kick 3s
Marcus is our best wing defender who struggles against quick guards off the dribble. Beal is the Wizards best perimeter scorer. I don’t know what other options you have it certainly wouldn’t be Smart on Wall with Kyrie on Beal then you have two mismatches rather than one.
 

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That was the Marcus Smartiest game of the year, by far. His offensive statistics don't even come close to telling the tale. He was a straight menace on defense, just incredible focus on every single play, gave up on nothing, and made play after play. The announcers basically didn't stop talking about him until Kyrie took over at the end of the game. A career highlight game for Smart, right up there with the Houston comeback from just under a year ago. What a fucking performance.
I thought that it was his Marcus Smartiest game ever. The Houston one was more meaningful, and him agitating Harden all game and precipitating that meltdown was genius. But the sheer number of posessions affected last night was simply absurd. Total menace all night.
 

benhogan

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Marcus is our best wing defender who struggles against quick guards off the dribble. Beal is the Wizards best perimeter scorer. I don’t know what other options you have it certainly wouldn’t be Smart on Wall with Kyrie on Beal then you have two mismatches rather than one.
I agree with this.
The reality is the only time we stopped Wall was when Kyrie fell on his ankle.

While Marcus could have roughed Wall up with some physical defense, even he probably couldn't have stopped him (even though I suggested it).

Quick guards seem to be the Celtics Achilles heel, maybe they are for every team, what's the solution here? Scheme or player need? My thought was to add another defensive player like TL (instead of Rozier) to protect the rim, but like many have posted he got burned as well. I thought TL was learning on the job (some would say getting school'd), sizing Wall up, and getting closer to slowing him down (by forcing a jumper or just missing blocks).

Would adding a smallish, super quick guard to get up underneath Kemba, Wall, Mitchell, Barea, Burke, etc help? Someone like a Jevon Carter-type, as the 15th man on the roster, two-way contract player?

I'm asking because my answer was TL but that doesn't seem like a popular choice, more importantly, Brad had no interest in that as a solution.
 

the moops

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Well, Wannmaker looks completely useless out there. Can't initiate the offense, and doesn't seem to have any impact on the defensive end. Replacing him with some annoying scrappy little defender to harrass players like Wall for several minutes a game sounds better than the status quo
 

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I love me some Marcus (see post #660 above), but playing him at the 5 is just more proof of Brad going incessantly small. There was absolutely no need to have Rozier on the floor, when you have offensive stars like Kyrie, Tatum, MaMo as your first, second and third offensive options. Give me a rim protector, a defense-first role player in that situation (ie TL, Baynes) to round out that rotation.

The last time TL was on the floor he got switched on to Wall, he played off Wall and protected the rim. Wall stopped and missed a mid-range 2, which is better than giving up a layup.

Maybe next time instead of Marcus playing the 5, Brad will put Smart on Wall and stop that layup drill.
Stevens did say after the game he went too small.
 

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I think you have to go under the pick and take your chances with Wall over the top. Switching wasn't working. TL forced one bad shot but was burned badly the other times. So was everyone else.

Smarter coaches than i probably have a plan C and D, but that's all I got.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The best benefit adding Marcus to the starting lineup has is that he by far and away tries the hardest among all Cs to fight over screens, and the fact that he does that mean that KI is usually guarding the guy who isn't using as many screens and saves energy for KI's offense.

I think you have to go under the pick and take your chances with Wall over the top. Switching wasn't working. TL forced one bad shot but was burned badly the other times. So was everyone else.

Smarter coaches than i probably have a plan C and D, but that's all I got.
You can switch or go under or you can hedge/recover, blitz, or ICE.
 

lovegtm

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The best benefit adding Marcus to the starting lineup has is that he by far and away tries the hardest among all Cs to fight over screens, and the fact that he does that mean that KI is usually guarding the guy who isn't using as many screens and saves energy for KI's offense.



You can switch or go under or you can hedge/recover, blitz, or ICE.
There are a lot of options for taking away drives from a quick guard and forcing him to make jumpers, or others to make shots. John Wall is actually an easier matchup than a lot of guys in that regard, since you'll live with his jumper more than Kemba's or Dame's.

Would have liked to see better in-game adjustments, but it's not the playoffs, so we'll all have forgotten this game in a week anyway.
 

bosox79

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Well, Wannmaker looks completely useless out there. Can't initiate the offense, and doesn't seem to have any impact on the defensive end. Replacing him with some annoying scrappy little defender to harrass players like Wall for several minutes a game sounds better than the status quo
Welcome to the Wanamaker Hate Club. He's not an NBA level player. He's fine as the 15th man but those guys have a very short shelf life in the NBA. He's the anti Marcus Smart, he's a box score warrior.

His stats look great, but watching him on the court he looks completely out of place.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Welcome to the Wanamaker Hate Club. He's not an NBA level player. He's fine as the 15th man but those guys have a very short shelf life in the NBA. He's the anti Marcus Smart, he's a box score warrior.

His stats look great, but watching him on the court he looks completely out of place.
Isn't this typically the case with nearly all NBA 15th men which is why they are...….NBA 15th men? Every now and again you'll catch lightning in a bottle and the player develops into a rotation guy but they are few and far between.
 

bosox79

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Isn't this typically the case with nearly all NBA 15th men which is why they are...….NBA 15th men? Every now and again you'll catch lightning in a bottle and the player develops into a rotation guy but they are few and far between.
Kinda. But even Shane Larkin had a role. Wanamaker doesn't bring anything to the table that the Celtics need.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Kinda. But even Shane Larkin had a role. Wanamaker doesn't bring anything to the table that the Celtics need.
I don't get the Wanamaker hate. I mean in the games he played he's +18, +20, +29, -12, +18, +33, +28, +56, +13 (18:29 minutes vs NO), and +5. While that doesn't tell us much, it does say that he's not giving away the farm when he's out there.

He's a semi-competent 4th PG who can fill in and play some minutes if KI, Marcus or TRoz are out of a game. He's also shooting 4-8 from 3P land so it looks like he has a shot.

IIRC, people weren't too high on Shane Larkin until he was forced to play
 

bosox79

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I don't get the Wanamaker hate. I mean in the games he played he's +18, +20, +29, -12, +18, +33, +28, +56, +13 (18:29 minutes vs NO), and +5. While that doesn't tell us much, it does say that he's not giving away the farm when he's out there.

He's a semi-competent 4th PG who can fill in and play some minutes if KI, Marcus or TRoz are out of a game. He's also shooting 4-8 from 3P land so it looks like he has a shot.

IIRC, people weren't too high on Shane Larkin until he was forced to play
What are those numbers? it's not +/-.

edit: It's the final score of the game, so it's a team +/-. Not Wanamaker's.
 

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Brian Robb had a nice article on BSJ today about how great Marcus has been of late, with special note about last night. He made special mention of how often he effects a turnover, but does not get credit for a steal, by disrupting a play such that the other team throws it away.
It's behind the paywall, but worth reading if you are a subscriber.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Brian Robb had a nice article on BSJ today about how great Marcus has been of late, with special note about last night. He made special mention of how often he effects a turnover, but does not get credit for a steal, by disrupting a play such that the other team throws it away.
It's behind the paywall, but worth reading if you are a subscriber.
One play in particular from last nights game comes to mind (and Scal raved about it during the broadcast) - Smart closed out on a guy in the corner (I think it was Oubre) and clamped down on him to the point that he had no space to work with and ended up throwing the ball away.

Smart does this sort of thing each game - often without committing a foul - and yet it never shows up in the traditional statistics. I have to imagine that he is on a very short list of NBA players whom teams dread facing as a defender.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Kinda. But even Shane Larkin had a role. Wanamaker doesn't bring anything to the table that the Celtics need.
Shane Larkin wasn’t a 15th man though as he has proven to be a competent rotation player prior to his agent parlaying that into a sweet deal overseas. He was part of the Celtics deep bench and always one of the top 11-12 in the rotation. The 15th roster spot last year was really any of Nader, Yabusele, or Bird whichever one you want to order from 13 to 15.
 

lovegtm

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Shane Larkin wasn’t a 15th man though as he has proven to be a competent rotation player prior to his agent parlaying that into a sweet deal overseas. He was part of the Celtics deep bench and always one of the top 11-12 in the rotation. The 15th roster spot last year was really any of Nader, Yabusele, or Bird whichever one you want to order from 13 to 15.
What happened to him after last year? I ran into him in the casino at summer league, and he seemed pissed he hadn't gotten picked up anywhere after what he showed (understandably). Would have been a nice guy to have this year, specifically for quick guards.
 

HomeRunBaker

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What happened to him after last year? I ran into him in the casino at summer league, and he seemed pissed he hadn't gotten picked up anywhere after what he showed (understandably). Would have been a nice guy to have this year, specifically for quick guards.
This is all I’ve read on Larkin signing to play in Europe.

https://hoopshype.com/2018/07/21/shane-larkin-nba-rumors-free-agent-boston-celtics

He signed in Turkey for almost 2 million. I am also surprised that he couldn't find that much money here
Larkin said in the interview that playing time and a good situation was most important to him. He certainly was the one guy to get squeezed last summer.