Getting Smart with Statistics

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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In three March games Smarf is averaging ~11 3PA per game which is too much but context matters. For these games, he has had to carry a lot more of the load offensively. In January and February, he was averaging just over seven 3PA per game and hitting at a ~38.3% clip. Again, some of that high volume was a function of all the injuries they have dealt with.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, when you're missing two of the big four and a third member is on a strict minutes restriction, the shots that Marcus doesn't take are being taken by Brad Wannamaker & Co. With Hayward, Brown, and Walker, this isn't an issue.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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No way he's even close to 100%. He peels himself up off the court at least once per game after taking a punishing shot and I'm pretty sure he may not be able to have kids any longer. Unfortunately a less than 100% Smart who feels he has to carry an injured squad isn't working out too great. 29% from 3 in March isn't carrying, it's actively hurting them. He doesn't look the same on the defensive end either and I suspect perhaps that's part of the reason why they continually get torched by guards from three point land. He was slow/lazy in closing out on that killer Schroder three yesterday being a vivid example in my mind.
 

Jimbodandy

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Marcus is hardly the problem here. They have a few things to figure out on both ends, and I'm confident that they will. Overall, I think that the bench guys besides Wanamaker just don't get the actions. When you have 3-4 guys like that on the floor at any one time due to injury, the team will look like shit for stretches.
 

lovegtm

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Without looking at numbers, better playmaker by a good bit, maybe worse at finishing at the rim.
Yeah less about numbers (although he's been an offensive negative by most measures), but more about hijacking possessions and treating himself as a much higher option on the totem poll than he is.

Tons of this stuff comes with 10+ on the shot clock too.

I know, I know he's a Winning Player...but at a certain point making winning decisions on offense matters too.

Brad is starting to have a track record of not being able to rein these types of guys in, and there's no contract year excuse here.
 

chilidawg

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Yeah for a Winning plays guy he sure has his share of losers. He's become their best at creating for others though, and my sense is that when other guys start getting tentative he gets impatient and forces the issue. Sometimes that works out, too often not so much.
 

Cesar Crespo

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On the offensive end, how different is Smart in approach at this point from 2018-19 Rozier?
I thought they were always somewhat similar offensively but it's starting to look like 2018/19 Rozier might have been an off year for Terry shooting wise. Even with that included, over the last 3 seasons, Rozier is shooting .382 from 3. Smart is at .342. Smart is clearly superior defensively but I'm not sure he really does anything better offensively than Rozier.

If Rozier hit 38-40% of his 3s last year, we probably have fonder memories of him. It's possible he should have been taking all those shots and variance just wasn't on his side. Of course, if Rozier hit 9 more 3's last season, he's at 38.0% instead of 35.3%.

As much as we like Smart, it would be interesting to see what this team would do with a more offensively gifted guard who can hit 3s at a 38-40% clip with Smart's volume. We haven't really had a complementary piece to Smart. The closest we've had is Terry Rozier. I'd like to see what the team could do with someone like Joe Harris in place of Smart.
 

lovegtm

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I thought they were always somewhat similar offensively but it's starting to look like 2018/19 Rozier might have been an off year for Terry shooting wise. Even with that included, over the last 3 seasons, Rozier is shooting .382 from 3. Smart is at .342. Smart is clearly superior defensively but I'm not sure he really does anything better offensively than Rozier.

If Rozier hit 38-40% of his 3s last year, we probably have fonder memories of him. It's possible he should have been taking all those shots and variance just wasn't on his side. Of course, if Rozier hit 9 more 3's last season, he's at 38.0% instead of 35.3%.

As much as we like Smart, it would be interesting to see what this team would do with a more offensively gifted guard who can hit 3s at a 38-40% clip with Smart's volume. We haven't really had a complementary piece to Smart. The closest we've had is Terry Rozier. I'd like to see what the team could do with someone like Joe Harris in place of Smart.
Flipping out Smart for an elite shooter and passable defender is really intriguing to me. At a certain point, I'd rather just have a normal good offensive role player than the WINNING PLAYS kaleidoscope. I just don't know that it will happen, since presumably the team likes his value contract as things get expensive.
 

lovegtm

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As an example of what I mean about Smart's approach, watch this video. It's an isolated example, but I could find 20 of these clips from the past 5 games with little effort.


Like...what the hell? It's early in the game, you have Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward on the floor, and he makes zero attempt to run the offense. He just jacks up a tough PnR off-the-dribble 3 with Turner closing on him and 15 on the shot clock. If Rozier or Morris did this last year, we'd be all over what cancers they are.

And then the dude comes out after games talking about how the team is sucking and not playing with energy.

I know everyone wants to do the "you have to take the good with the bad" schtick, but the eye test and impact metrics don't support that take at all.

It blows my mind that the organization can't find a way to hold him accountable or find balance in his game. He's not good enough to warrant this treatment.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Flipping out Smart for an elite shooter and passable defender is really intriguing to me. At a certain point, I'd rather just have a normal good offensive role player than the WINNING PLAYS kaleidoscope. I just don't know that it will happen, since presumably the team likes his value contract as things get expensive.
I didn't mean completely replacing Smart but in the Joe Harris example, you probably would. Ideally, the team would have a Seth Curry on the bench to sub in for Smart in certain situations. Go with Smart for like 25-28 minutes a game and Curry for the other 20-23. It would give the team 2 wildly different looks.
 

lovegtm

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I didn't mean completely replacing Smart but in the Joe Harris example, you probably would. Ideally, the team would have a Seth Curry on the bench to sub in for Smart in certain situations. Go with Smart for like 25-28 minutes a game and Curry for the other 20-23. It would give the team 2 wildly different looks.
Yeah, that's probably a better use of resources.
 

lovegtm

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NomarsFool

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He does that a lot. His drives to the basket are atrocious. He often dishes off and I think he's phenomenal in that situation. But, he throws up a lot of terrible shots where I assume he is trying to get fouled (like that one against Brooklyn where he got tossed).

I'm sure Smart's a tough guy to coach. Amazing energy, makes great hustle plays (taking charges, coming up with steals) and he makes some big time clutch shots. But, at the same time, makes enough boneheaded plays (fouling at the end of the Brooklyn game) where you want to tear your hair out. I'm sure Brad struggles to find a way to get one without the other.
 

lovegtm

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He does that a lot. His drives to the basket are atrocious. He often dishes off and I think he's phenomenal in that situation. But, he throws up a lot of terrible shots where I assume he is trying to get fouled (like that one against Brooklyn where he got tossed).

I'm sure Smart's a tough guy to coach. Amazing energy, makes great hustle plays (taking charges, coming up with steals) and he makes some big time clutch shots. But, at the same time, makes enough boneheaded plays (fouling at the end of the Brooklyn game) where you want to tear your hair out. I'm sure Brad struggles to find a way to get one without the other.
Re the bolded: that's why Brad gets paid the big bucks. It's a balance that most other high-energy defensive roleplayers are able to find, and if Smart can't find it, his value goes down a lot.
 

the moops

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Ideally, the team would have a Seth Curry on the bench to sub in for Smart in certain situations. Go with Smart for like 25-28 minutes a game and Curry for the other 20-23. It would give the team 2 wildly different looks.
I never realized this, but Seth Curry is #2 all time in career 3P% at .4432. Crazy
 

the moops

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lovegtm

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Meh. I don't hate that play. In transition and he has the bigger and slower and not a terribly good defender in Sabonis on him, with nobody else under the basket
Yeah...most bad offensive plays that Marcus makes would be good plays if he were a decent scorer who could finish in the lane.

He’s not though, and there’s not much evidence he ever will be. This is in contrast to his outside shooting, which very well could improve more in the next few years.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Marcus get a ton of love from NBA head coaches when the Athletic polled them for their All-Defense choices- third highest vote getter, behind Giannis and Gobert. With some choice quotes from anonymous coaches about how he impacts the game, and their game plans.


Kawhi and Ben Simmons round out the first team.
 

benhogan

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Marcus get a ton of love from NBA head coaches when the Athletic polled them for their All-Defense choices- third highest vote getter, behind Giannis and Gobert. With some choice quotes from anonymous coaches about how he impacts the game, and their game plans.


Kawhi and Ben Simmons round out the first team.
for those that don't subscribe:

But Smart’s name was often mentioned first by coaches when they were asked about their All-Defensive First Team. He is an intense, rugged, determined defender who can guard multiple positions.
“He’s just that good,” one coach said. “My first pick without hesitation.”
Another coach said of Smart: “I really love his intensity, his willingness to guard anybody. And he’s only 6-foot-3. You’ve got to admire somebody like that who sacrifices his body and takes charges. When there’s a loose ball, and if it’s our player or another player that’s going to get it, I’m sorry, Marcus Smart is coming away with that ball.”


2nd Team
AD, Pat Bev, Bledsoe, Bam, and PJ Tucker

Others receiving votes that were close:
Paul George, Jrue, Brook Lopez*, and Siakam


*Brook Lopez almost being named 2nd string All-Defense is pretty silly. He's a major beneficiary of Coach Bud's system and playing next to Giannis.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQgnY-ZA9tg
 
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DannyDarwinism

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Plus some Jaylen love in the up-and-comers section:

• Jaylen Brown, Boston (23 years old): He received one first-team vote, two second-team mentions and a third-place vote for DPOY. “He could have easily gotten my vote,” one coach said. “He’s right there.” His teammate, Jayson Tatum, got plenty of love as well and gives the Celtics one of the best young tandems in the league.
 

slamminsammya

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Kawhi is definitely trading off reputation at this point. He could be a top defender but he doesn't try too much on that end anymore, at least in the regular season. Which is not a knock on him - it makes sense as he has evolved into a player who carries a huge offensive load. But the guy is a pretty lax team defender these days.
 

InstaFace

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Very enjoyable, very well-reasoned, and very well-edited. Thanks for posting.

I must've giggled half a dozen times at some of those plays.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Yes, thank you for posting that.

His athleticism is evident throughout those clips but his positioning/IQ is what makes him so fun to watch. For me, its akin to seeing an elite offensive player continue to improve or even a musical artist polish their sound. As noted in the video, he does get beaten but its its rarely from lack of effort or preparation.

I may have to rewatch.
 

InstaFace

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Smart: AAU teams don’t practice. We were practicing and watching film, ice baths in between games.

Kenny Boren, one of Smart’s high school coaches and a regular on the AAU circuit: In Vegas, in between games we’d go to Walmart and … I’m not going to say steal, because we put them back. We’d steal Walmart’s outside trash cans, completely disgusting. Dump them out and fill them for ice baths. Marcus would be sitting in there, fucking McDonald’s barbecue packets floating in there, and Big Phil (Forte’s dad) is like, “Shut up, just get in there. What matters is you get your ice and shut the fuck up.” French fries floating in there.
 

bigq

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Marcus Smart quietly had the best season of his career this year. His FG% dipped relative to last year however many of his rate statistics including assists, steals and blocks were at or close to career highs. He also had a career high FT% of .836 which surprised me. If he can bring his 3P% up closer to .4 and continue with his relentless defense and playmaking he will be due for a big raise when his current contract expires.
 
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DJnVa

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If, when this season ends, the Pats signed Smart to play free safety I would probably nod and say, "Yeah, you know what...I can see it."
 

TripleOT

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Surprising. Smart’s 52.8 eFG% on pull up three pointers ranks 5th among players with over 2 pull-up attempts a night.
 

lovegtm

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Surprising. Smart’s 52.8 eFG% on pull up three pointers ranks 5th among players with over 2 pull-up attempts a night.
If he were a random guy on, say, Houston, as opposed to Marcus Smart, no one would really make a big deal about his shooting. They'd be like "oh yeah, he's that ~35% high-volume 3 shooter who can get hot. That's a decent expected value in the halfcourt, better close out hard."

Obviously I'd be happier if he were shooting 39% or whatever, but he's a perfectly cromulent shooter as is.
 

Jimbodandy

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If he were a random guy on, say, Houston, as opposed to Marcus Smart, no one would really make a big deal about his shooting. They'd be like "oh yeah, he's that ~35% high-volume 3 shooter who can get hot. That's a decent expected value in the halfcourt, better close out hard."

Obviously I'd be happier if he were shooting 39% or whatever, but he's a perfectly cromulent shooter as is.
We remember the dark times, and that's hard to shake sometimes. Dewey learned to hit a curveball in the early 80s, and half of the old RS fans probably still remember him flailing at pitches bouncing in the LHH batters box.
 

lovegtm

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We remember the dark times, and that's hard to shake sometimes. Dewey learned to hit a curveball in the early 80s, and half of the old RS fans probably still remember him flailing at pitches bouncing in the LHH batters box.
The weirder part is that I hear from OTHER fanbases that “you gotta live with Smart hitting those shots.” I just don’t think they’d say the same about, eg, Robert Covington.
 

PedroKsBambino

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One plus RPM and plus-minus is more helpful than most other stats is in helping to value something like the above, which Smart is an outlier on.
 

djbayko

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Why hasn't this thread been bumped? He has the heart of Larry Bird, if not the skill. Someday his number may be in the rafters.
 
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Koufax

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He is the heart and soul of the team for sure.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Why hasn't this thread been bumped. He has the heart of Larry Bird, if not the skill. Someday his number may be in the rafters.
If he plays all or most of his career with the Celtics I think he’s a lock to have his number retired regardless of whether he ever gets a ring. As I said in the game thread tonight he solidified his position as my favorite Celtics player since the end of the Garnett era...just does so many little things well and always brings it.