Marcus Smart: 4 year, $77 million extension

Rustjive

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I responded because the piss-poor record when Smart shoots a lot was waved off as "look at the surrounding talent"
It gets waved off because it's really facile thinking. It's interesting how NFL fans can clearly deduce the context when they say 'x team is W-L record when y QB throws more than 40 times in a game' but apply the same type of statement in the NBA to Smart it becomes 'he takes touches from the Jays and Smart shooting a lot is why the Celtics lose'.

'Can x team win while y player is their 3rd best player/4th best contract?' is equally facile. Can Houston in 2018 win if Eric Gordon is their 3rd best player/4th biggest contract? Why do such complex problems get boiled down to something that's only barely related to the overall question?

The only time that question makes sense is in the context of 'will Marcus Smart getting paid 15% of the cap prevent the team from winning a championship?' And the answer there is clearly no. Most people are in agreement that Smart can be moved for free, at the worst, if need be. Most people think he's an asset at the current price. Take everything together and detractors are essentially complaining 'I'm mad we re-signed and kept a valuable asset'. To hate this extension you have to really think that Smart is or likely is to be a negative asset sometime in the near future (within a year).

If he's taking up 15% of the cap, it's harder to allocate that money to players who can do that
This just isn't true. In a world where we keep Smart and trade for Beal, Smart's contract doesn't matter one bit. He's a slightly better asset at a lower price, but in a Beal world you're automatically an over-the-cap team. In addition, you can't just break Marcus Smart up into 3 cheaper, better fits - you have to work with what's available and what the Celtics can realistically get. This is just a variation on Cs fans that go 'I don't like Beal's fit, I think they should get a great distributor/shooter' and when you ask them who they mean they say 'CP3'.
 
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nighthob

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As you note, Marcus is great if he's like the 4th or, ideally, 5th best player on the team and this contract is a lot of money to throw at that kind of a player. The defense is nice, but not all that valuable - it's not like Marcus just erases guys on the perimeter. How long have we complained about quick guards chewing up our defense?
You may want to look at who the Celtics have had playing the 1 Guard spot the last six seasons. That might have just a little to do with why 1 Guards tend to chew up Boston.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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It gets waved off because it's really facile thinking. It's interesting how NFL fans can clearly deduce the context when they say 'x team is W-L record when y QB throws more than 40 times in a game' but apply the same type of statement in the NBA to Smart it becomes 'he takes touches from the Jays and Smart shooting a lot is why the Celtics lose'.

'Can x team win while y player is their 3rd best player/4th best contract?' is equally facile. Can Houston in 2018 win if Eric Gordon is their 3rd best player/4th biggest contract? Why do such complex problems get boiled down to something that's only barely related to the overall question?

The only time that question makes sense is in the context of 'will Marcus Smart getting paid 15% of the cap prevent the team from winning a championship?' And the answer there is clearly no. Most people are in agreement that Smart can be moved for free, at the worst, if need be. Most people think he's an asset at the current price. Take everything together and detractors are essentially complaining 'I'm mad we re-signed and kept a valuable asset'. To hate this extension you have to really think that Smart is or likely is to be a negative asset sometime in the near future (within a year).


This just isn't true. In a world where we keep Smart and trade for Beal, Smart's contract doesn't matter one bit. He's a slightly better asset at a lower price, but in a Beal world you're automatically an over-the-cap team. In addition, you can't just break Marcus Smart up into 3 cheaper, better fits - you have to work with what's available and what the Celtics can realistically get. This is just a variation on Cs fans that go 'I don't like Beal's fit, I think they should get a great distributor/shooter' and when you ask them who they mean they say 'CP3'.
I honestly think some of the criticism of this contract comes from people who are essentially ignoring how difficult roster construction is in the NBA. As we just saw this past season, you can have all the top end talent in the league but injuries, chemistry, coaching adjustments etc can blow things up. And that is after teams have to navigate the complex universe of player relationships, cap/salary constraints and geographic preferences just to build their roster.

With the preface that the C's did this extension with its trade value in mind, I think its safe to say that they value not just Smart's level of production but also his fit. The guy clearly wants to be in Boston, appears to be fine with whatever roles they ask of him and seems to generally get along with Tatum and Brown (most here are aware of the shouting match - this deal suggests its largely forgotten). There is huge value to that especially in a sport where chemistry matters.
 

ManicCompression

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@Rustjive I'm not "mad" or whatever about the contract. I'm not sure what other choice the Celtics had - as @DeJesus Built My Hotrod points out, building a roster is really hard and you have make tough choices. I'm just pointing out that Smart's strengths aren't that important and his weaknesses are very important, particularly when it comes to playoff basketball.

Case in point @nighthob accurately notes that our 1s have sucked on D - so how valuable can Marcus' defense really be if the team can't get stops whether he's on the floor or not? Like if Trae Young or Kyrie is taking it to Schroeder regardless and Marcus is taped onto Cam Reddish or Joe Harris, how much of a help is that really? Particularly when the Celtics need to match that scoring potential and Marcus as an off-ball guy leaves something to be desired. So maybe you think he's better as a super-sub against bench units - cool, but do you want one of your highest paid players relegated to less important minutes (that disappear in the playoffs).

The NBA is currently designed for these highly skilled perimeter guys to torch the D and that's why it's rare to see a defensive player of the year be a guy of point guard size - it's like a nice add-on, but it's not all that helpful in the grand scheme of things.
 

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@Rustjive I'm not "mad" or whatever about the contract. I'm not sure what other choice the Celtics had - as @DeJesus Built My Hotrod points out, building a roster is really hard and you have make tough choices. I'm just pointing out that Smart's strengths aren't that important and his weaknesses are very important, particularly when it comes to playoff basketball.

Case in point @nighthob accurately notes that our 1s have sucked on D - so how valuable can Marcus' defense really be if the team can't get stops whether he's on the floor or not? Like if Trae Young or Kyrie is taking it to Schroeder regardless and Marcus is taped onto Cam Reddish or Joe Harris, how much of a help is that really? Particularly when the Celtics need to match that scoring potential and Marcus as an off-ball guy leaves something to be desired. So maybe you think he's better as a super-sub against bench units - cool, but do you want one of your highest paid players relegated to less important minutes (that disappear in the playoffs).

The NBA is currently designed for these highly skilled perimeter guys to torch the D and that's why it's rare to see a defensive player of the year be a guy of point guard size - it's like a nice add-on, but it's not all that helpful in the grand scheme of things.
I'm honestly stunned that you've watched Marcus Smart play basketball and think that he's the guy who's unplayable in playoff games.
 

Euclis20

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@Rustjive I'm not "mad" or whatever about the contract. I'm not sure what other choice the Celtics had - as @DeJesus Built My Hotrod points out, building a roster is really hard and you have make tough choices. I'm just pointing out that Smart's strengths aren't that important and his weaknesses are very important, particularly when it comes to playoff basketball.

Case in point @nighthob accurately notes that our 1s have sucked on D - so how valuable can Marcus' defense really be if the team can't get stops whether he's on the floor or not? Like if Trae Young or Kyrie is taking it to Schroeder regardless and Marcus is taped onto Cam Reddish or Joe Harris, how much of a help is that really? Particularly when the Celtics need to match that scoring potential and Marcus as an off-ball guy leaves something to be desired. So maybe you think he's better as a super-sub against bench units - cool, but do you want one of your highest paid players relegated to less important minutes (that disappear in the playoffs).

The NBA is currently designed for these highly skilled perimeter guys to torch the D and that's why it's rare to see a defensive player of the year be a guy of point guard size - it's like a nice add-on, but it's not all that helpful in the grand scheme of things.
The Celtics have ranked, on average, 7th in defensive rating over the last 6 years. This despite running out point guards that ranged from well below average to worst in the league defensively and never really having a great rim protector (TL was 10th in blocks last year, the only Celtic to appear in the top 10 in the Stevens' era). They've had a few standouts (Bradley 1st team all defense in 2016, Horford was 2nd team in 2018) but the constants have been Stevens' system and Marcus Smart. I'd say his strengths have been pretty important and a huge reason why (last year aside) the Celtics have had a very good defense over the last half decade plus. I agree that the NBA is currently built to allow for small guards to torch everyone in front of them but that doesn't devalue Smart (someone like Bradley may be a different story), who can guard 98% of the league without embarrassing himself.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It will be interesting to see if the new rule changes about offensive players trying to create contact to get foul will help MS and if it does (which I think it will), how much it will help him

Next year's team is not a contender: but they're set-up now between Smart and Horford's contracts and the expirings with Schroder and Richardson to wheel and deal. As far as we know, that's the best the Celtics could have done this offseason, and with the Tatum-Beal connection, the Celtics are in a position to make the best move they can.
Not sure what it takes to be a "contender" but I think the Cs are better than the pundits are saying. I know I'm repeating myself but if I knew that TL would play 1500 minutes plus playoffs this year, I'd put some money down on the Cs to get to the Finals.
 

nighthob

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@Rustjive I'm not "mad" or whatever about the contract. I'm not sure what other choice the Celtics had - as @DeJesus Built My Hotrod points out, building a roster is really hard and you have make tough choices. I'm just pointing out that Smart's strengths aren't that important and his weaknesses are very important, particularly when it comes to playoff basketball.
Creating effective shots for others is incredibly valuable.

Case in point @nighthob accurately notes that our 1s have sucked on D - so how valuable can Marcus' defense really be if the team can't get stops whether he's on the floor or not?
I mean aside from the fact that Boston was better defensively with Marcus on the floor…
 

ManicCompression

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I'm honestly stunned that you've watched Marcus Smart play basketball and think that he's the guy who's unplayable in playoff games.
Where do I say he's "unplayable"? His main weakness, shooting, becomes magnified in the playoffs, as does anyone's weakness. Do his strengths make up for it? Not reliably IMO.

W/R/T his defense, it's not like he's surrounded by slouches even when he's next to Kemba. The defensive talent in BOS has been pretty good overall outside of Kemba/Kyrie/IT and players with size, like Tatum or Horford, are just naturally more important to a defensive scheme.

Let me reframe what I'm trying to say - it's less about Marcus Smart the player and more about Marcus Smart the player profile and how valuable that type is in today's NBA. As WBCD points out, maybe that changes with the fouling rules and Marcus can be even more aggressive. Maybe he has an amazing, for him, shooting season now that the stress is off. All of that is possible - I want to root for the guy, I like him personally, and he'll absolutely raise the ceiling of this team if he's the 2018/2019 version with an eFG% of .530 instead of .460.
 

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Where do I say he's "unplayable"? His main weakness, shooting, becomes magnified in the playoffs, as does anyone's weakness. Do his strengths make up for it? Not reliably IMO.

W/R/T his defense, it's not like he's surrounded by slouches even when he's next to Kemba. The defensive talent in BOS has been pretty good overall outside of Kemba/Kyrie/IT and players with size, like Tatum or Horford, are just naturally more important to a defensive scheme.

Let me reframe what I'm trying to say - it's less about Marcus Smart the player and more about Marcus Smart the player profile and how valuable that type is in today's NBA. As WBCD points out, maybe that changes with the fouling rules and Marcus can be even more aggressive. Maybe he has an amazing, for him, shooting season now that the stress is off. All of that is possible - I want to root for the guy, I like him personally, and he'll absolutely raise the ceiling of this team if he's the 2018/2019 version with an eFG% of .530 instead of .460.
I think that Marcus's strengths are magnified in the playoffs, where every possession is tight and the refs call things a little looser. Guys like Marcus live for the loose ball and drawing the charge and generally have ice in their veins. The playoffs are why he exists.

Sure, it's not a great matchup if he's stuck an island guarding Kyrie. But every elite player causes some kind of matchup problem that teams have to game plan for. Who's our Embiid stopper? Who's anyone's Embiid stopper? Or Giannis or KD, for that matter.

Marcus is hardly an ideal player, but "this guy's gonna sink us in the playoffs" is an odd stand to make imo.
 

ManicCompression

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Marcus is hardly an ideal player, but "this guy's gonna sink us in the playoffs" is an odd stand to make imo.
I didn't say he was going to "sink" us in the playoffs, either, so it's not an odd stand. He's a flawed player like most other players. Those moments where he's drawing charges are awesome and the moments where he loses his cool and gets too aggressive are infuriating. It's awesome when he dimes up a teammate and sucks when he takes a three with 15 seconds left on the clock. I'm not sure why questioning the value of the player type that he is - and feel free to look through this list of NBA contracts to find me another defense first guard who's been worth a contract of this size - needs to be countered with hyperbole.
 

Jimbodandy

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I didn't say he was going to "sink" us in the playoffs, either, so it's not an odd stand. He's a flawed player like most other players. Those moments where he's drawing charges are awesome and the moments where he loses his cool and gets too aggressive are infuriating. It's awesome when he dimes up a teammate and sucks when he takes a three with 15 seconds left on the clock. I'm not sure why questioning the value of the player type that he is - and feel free to look through this list of NBA contracts to find me another defense first guard who's been worth a contract of this size - needs to be countered with hyperbole.
I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth, but it sure came off that way. Apologies.

The stand that I find odd is how Marcus's total package seemingly plays better in the regular season in your opinion than in the playoffs. I feel like we have watched different guys.
 

slamminsammya

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I didn't say he was going to "sink" us in the playoffs, either, so it's not an odd stand. He's a flawed player like most other players. Those moments where he's drawing charges are awesome and the moments where he loses his cool and gets too aggressive are infuriating. It's awesome when he dimes up a teammate and sucks when he takes a three with 15 seconds left on the clock. I'm not sure why questioning the value of the player type that he is - and feel free to look through this list of NBA contracts to find me another defense first guard who's been worth a contract of this size - needs to be countered with hyperbole.
It feels like you are unfairly punishing Smart for being a pretty unique player in today's NBA. Whether he is worth $17 million a year is really not the same question at all as whether you can find a similar style player who gets around that amount of money. Is Giannis worth a max contract even though we can't find players with a similar style of play who get paid that much? Its a silly way to frame it.

Sure, guard defense is less valuable than big man defense. How much do you discount it though? The top line advanced metrics pick up on this as well, and yet they still have him as a pretty good player. My intuition is that the gap in importance between big man and guard defense actually lessens in the playoffs.
 

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I'm pleased to have Marcus back with no incentive to chuck. He and Robert Williams both have the talent and aggressiveness (if not always the durability) to take over a game by defense alone.

Smart-Williams-Tatum-Brown-Richardson is a lineup full of stoppers. I expect a return to peak Celtic defenses of four years ago.
 

Cellar-Door

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I didn't say he was going to "sink" us in the playoffs, either, so it's not an odd stand. He's a flawed player like most other players. Those moments where he's drawing charges are awesome and the moments where he loses his cool and gets too aggressive are infuriating. It's awesome when he dimes up a teammate and sucks when he takes a three with 15 seconds left on the clock. I'm not sure why questioning the value of the player type that he is - and feel free to look through this list of NBA contracts to find me another defense first guard who's been worth a contract of this size - needs to be countered with hyperbole.
I'd say Smart was better his 24-26 seasons than Jrue, and a similar defense first player, his extension he'll be making a smaller % of the cap than Jrue did at that age (and way less than Jrue now), Bledsoe was a bit more of a scorer (role more than efficiency) but his previous deal was more than Smart will get and was attractive in trades, his next deal after that aged poorly, but Smart's extension will be ending around that age. Looking for comps to players in contracts can be hard in part because there aren't a lot of players like Smart... elite guard defenders who aren't asked to carry the offensive load, and who were highly drafted, and are still only 26 on their 3rd contract. More teams build around scoring guards and defenders on the wings (often to their detriment).
 

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I think we can all agree that last year was not Marcus' best. And if it proves to be the first season in his decline, this will prove a bad contract. But it's not that long ago that he was All-NBA Defense, and singlehandedly turning games around with his defense.

There are highlight reels out there of Marcus making plays, mostly on the defensive end, and many of the pure hustle variety, but he also is pretty clearly the best passer on this team in pretty much every scenario.

He wears his heart on his sleeve like no Celtic since KG. I just hope that he will one day get rewarded with a championship the same way KG did. I don't think there is any Celtic who I will be happier to see hugging that trophy than Marcus.
 

tbb345

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I think the contract is a fair one. There’s definitely not much surplus value for the Celtics or a “great contract”. I think its pretty much fair market value which is a bit disappointing.

Marcus the player has become an exhausting topic. A Portion of the fan base completely underrates him while another completely overrates him.

The only thing I will add is that last years version of Smart seemed to make a decent amount of boneheaded plays. Not enough to cancel out all of his positive contributions but enough that it was noticeable and frustrating.

Hopefully this new contract makes him more comfortable and he plays within himself more
 

Rustjive

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I think the contract is a fair one. There’s definitely not much surplus value for the Celtics or a “great contract”. I think its pretty much fair market value which is a bit disappointing.
It's only disappointing in a 'scoreboard' type of way. Contenders (or soon-to-be contenders with an eye on Beal) don't really have a lot of options when it comes to their role players. Every non-ring chaser either was on the team already or you have to spend real assets to get them. The Clippers paid 3/40 for 31 year old PatBev, a deal that started at 11.3% of the cap (compared to Smart's starting at 14.2% of the cap). But you do it because there's literally nothing else you can do with the money. If you don't sign/extend Beverley or Smart, then what? You don't magically have cap space to fill with great FA bargains.

And even now, we can see Beverley wasn't really overpaid. He's being treated like a slightly positive asset despite being 33 years old and at a higher cap value (12.7%). I'm not really ever worried about Smart being unmoveable unless he's destroyed by injuries or falls off the cliff for some other reason, and in those cases it doesn't matter if he's being paid 4/77 or 4/68.
 

benhogan

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I'm pleased to have Marcus back with no incentive to chuck. He and Robert Williams both have the talent and aggressiveness (if not always the durability) to take over a game by defense alone.

Smart-Williams-Tatum-Brown-Richardson is a lineup full of stoppers. I expect a return to peak Celtic defenses of four years ago.
I could see that being a halfcourt/end of game-closing lineup.

This team hasn't been able to get a late stop for years
 

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I think we can all agree that last year was not Marcus' best. And if it proves to be the first season in his decline, this will prove a bad contract. But it's not that long ago that he was All-NBA Defense, and singlehandedly turning games around with his defense.
I’m not willing to sign off on Smart taking any significant step back last year. While he may not have had his best year I didn’t see much different from Smart of previous years.......and certainly not a decline. Returning from a calf injury after missing nearly two months while the rest of the league is in mid season form is always something I factor but all in all he seemed like the same Marcus to me. What am I missing?
 

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I’m not willing to sign off on Smart taking any significant step back last year. While he may not have had his best year I didn’t see much different from Smart of previous years.......and certainly not a decline. Returning from a calf injury after missing nearly two months while the rest of the league is in mid season form is always something I factor but all in all he seemed like the same Marcus to me. What am I missing?
I didn't see it either. The advanced metrics seem to say that he regressed defensively, but they say the same thing about Brown and Tatum (who still aren't old enough to rent cars in some places).
 

shoelace

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I didn't see it either. The advanced metrics seem to say that he regressed defensively, but they say the same thing about Brown and Tatum (who still aren't old enough to rent cars in some places).
Agreed. I feel like Marcus shouldered more offensive weight early last season when Kemba was out, essentially playing point guard, and the Celtics were 7-3 before going to shit during that Knicks game when Kemba came back. His defense felt diminished in the early season, but part of it was due to increased offensive responsibility. It felt like he improved as the year went on. And I'm not sure if NBA performance follows some sort of clear, linear path. Guys have off years and then improve. It wouldn't surprise me if Smart and Richardson are held in higher esteem on this board next off-season.
 

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I didn't see it either. The advanced metrics seem to say that he regressed defensively, but they say the same thing about Brown and Tatum (who still aren't old enough to rent cars in some places).
Smart was defending opponents 1 more last year than he had in prior years which I’m not going to hold against him as that is not his best defensive position. Some feel Smart is prime Bev defending the 1 which couldn’t be further from the truth as his strength is inside the arc and not further away from the basket where his foot speed against quicker players is ordinary at best.
 

tbb345

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Smart was defending opponents 1 more last year than he had in prior years which I’m not going to hold against him as that is not his best defensive position. Some feel Smart is prime Bev defending the 1 which couldn’t be further from the truth as his strength is inside the arc and not further away from the basket where his foot speed against quicker players is ordinary at best.
But won’t he be defending opponents 1’a at least as much or more this year?
 

HomeRunBaker

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But won’t he be defending opponents 1’a at least as much or more this year?
He shouldn’t unless there are injuries to Schroder/Pritchard or unless Udoka plays him out of position which is what many here seem to want to see. It is fools gold to expect Smart to play the 1 and return to being a plus/elite defender.
 
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sezwho

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This is reductive, but to me last season was functionally the culmination of two seasons of pure attrition. Some survived, even thrived (looking at you Minnesota) but everyone else limped to the finish. Intensity and defense, and well everything but shooting frankly, was down.

Smarts raison-d'etre requires sustaining the compete level at 11 physically and mentally. I think he just needs a chance to reset and we get the good Marcus back.
 

the moops

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He shouldn’t unless there are injuries to Schroder/Pritchard or unless Udoka plays him out of position which is what many here seem to want to see. It is fools gold to expect Smart to play the 1 and return to being a plus/elite defender.
I think we may see Richardson on 1's more than Smart as well.
 

Fishy1

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Smart was defending opponents 1 more last year than he had in prior years which I’m not going to hold against him as that is not his best defensive position. Some feel Smart is prime Bev defending the 1 which couldn’t be further from the truth as his strength is inside the arc and not further away from the basket where his foot speed against quicker players is ordinary at best.
This is why I want Schroder starting and Richardson coming off the bench - or Smart coming off the bench and Richardson starting next to Schroder. But Smart next to Schroder seems best: two good passers and one good slasher next to the Jays and Horford and not only will everyone be asked and able to defend their position, but the offense will really hum. It's going to be such a relief to have Horford at the top of the key distributing. And Richardson off the bench will get to run the offense against second-units next to Pritchard, something he'll really excel at.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is why I want Schroder starting and Richardson coming off the bench - or Smart coming off the bench and Richardson starting next to Schroder. But Smart next to Schroder seems best: two good passers and one good slasher next to the Jays and Horford and not only will everyone be asked and able to defend their position, but the offense will really hum. It's going to be such a relief to have Horford at the top of the key distributing. And Richardson off the bench will get to run the offense against second-units next to Pritchard, something he'll really excel at.
This is where I’ve always been too. It provides better playmaking balance, better ballhandling balance, better perimeter defensive balance, and better size balance all while playing to Smart’s strengths.
 

Deathofthebambino

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He shouldn’t unless there are injuries to Schroder/Pritchard or unless Udoka plays him out of position which is what many here seem to want to see. It is fools gold to expect Smart to play the 1 and return to being a plus/elite defender.
I'm just curious if Udoka runs Brad's defense, which is 95% man to man and switching everything, so in the end, it doesn't matter who you start the possession defending, they just hunt the guy they want and then switch until they get the matchup. If they run that defense, and the opposing team wants Smart covering their 1, Smart will be covering their 1.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm just curious if Udoka runs Brad's defense, which is 95% man to man and switching everything, so in the end, it doesn't matter who you start the possession defending, they just hunt the guy they want and then switch until they get the matchup. If they run that defense, and the opposing team wants Smart covering their 1, Smart will be covering their 1.
The bigger issue for the Celtics when running this defense is that Kemba, Kyrie, and IT were generally the weak links and ended up hunted by opposing teams, often by getting the Celtics PG switched onto a wing scorer.

The Celtics roster moves suggest that they are going to continue to switch a lot because the team has a lot of players who can guard multiple spots. Smart, Brown, Richardson, Tatum, Langford, etc.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm just curious if Udoka runs Brad's defense, which is 95% man to man and switching everything, so in the end, it doesn't matter who you start the possession defending, they just hunt the guy they want and then switch until they get the matchup. If they run that defense, and the opposing team wants Smart covering their 1, Smart will be covering their 1.
Udoka doesn’t typically switch. He ran the defense in Philly where ball pressure was paramount and they would drop Embiid off the screen to allow for penetration and long 2’s by dropping Embiid off the screen, rather than showing. Schroder and Smart fit his philosophy well......with Pritchard as the one guy who could really struggle with this. The issue I see isn’t necessarily Smart being switched on a 1 but more so initially being out of his best position defending outside 25-feet from the basket where quicker guards can wear him down and alleviate the pressure he can produce on wings. Offense is another story as he struggles with his dribble against quicks to get to his spot to deliver the ball. He often is forced to take terrible angles that result in Tatum and Brown being forced further from the basket to receive the pass.
 

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Udoka doesn’t typically switch. He ran the defense in Philly where ball pressure was paramount and they would drop Embiid off the screen to allow for penetration and long 2’s by dropping Embiid off the screen, rather than showing. Schroder and Smart fit his philosophy well......with Pritchard as the one guy who could really struggle with this. The issue I see isn’t necessarily Smart being switched on a 1 but more so initially being out of his best position defending outside 25-feet from the basket where quicker guards can wear him down and alleviate the pressure he can produce on wings. Offense is another story as he struggles with his dribble against quicks to get to his spot to deliver the ball. He often is forced to take terrible angles that result in Tatum and Brown being forced further from the basket to receive the pass.
I think that your concerns here are all valid, and the last one should ve materially mitigated by Smart sharing the floor with a JRich or Schroeder most of the time. You can't trap everyone.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Udoka doesn’t typically switch. He ran the defense in Philly where ball pressure was paramount and they would drop Embiid off the screen to allow for penetration and long 2’s by dropping Embiid off the screen, rather than showing. Schroder and Smart fit his philosophy well......with Pritchard as the one guy who could really struggle with this. The issue I see isn’t necessarily Smart being switched on a 1 but more so initially being out of his best position defending outside 25-feet from the basket where quicker guards can wear him down and alleviate the pressure he can produce on wings. Offense is another story as he struggles with his dribble against quicks to get to his spot to deliver the ball. He often is forced to take terrible angles that result in Tatum and Brown being forced further from the basket to receive the pass.
That could be a Philly thing, to some extent. There are not a large number of teams that start 3 6'9" or taller guys.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That could be a Philly thing, to some extent. There are not a large number of teams that start 3 6'9" or taller guys.
It will be interesting what he does with Horford and if he will play two-bigs like he did with him and Embiid.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This is why I want Schroder starting and Richardson coming off the bench - or Smart coming off the bench and Richardson starting next to Schroder. But Smart next to Schroder seems best: two good passers and one good slasher next to the Jays and Horford and not only will everyone be asked and able to defend their position, but the offense will really hum. It's going to be such a relief to have Horford at the top of the key distributing. And Richardson off the bench will get to run the offense against second-units next to Pritchard, something he'll really excel at.
To me, DS was brought in to run the second-unit offense. He'll be the best guy to do it; he's done it in the past; and I don't see why he wouldn't do it in the future. Yes Richardson has handled the ball but not as a point guard.
Udoka doesn’t typically switch.
I'll be interested in seeing what defense Udoka runs but if his defense is anything like what was being run in summer league (and one would think that they would use the same basic principles), they were running the basic zone up top; switch on PnRs; and replaces mismatches from with the baseline bigs.

I'm personally not as worried about MS guarding 1s because as EJ says, teams can always get 1s switched on to whomever they want and hopefully the Cs will have more/better help along the back line. What I thought really hurt Marcus last year is that he had to chase shooters all over the court because there was no one else in the starting 5 that could do it, and while he tries hard enough, moving his big body through a bevy of screens isn't his strength. Maybe JRich or DS can handle that this year.
 

Fishy1

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(1)To me, DS was brought in to run the second-unit offense. He'll be the best guy to do it; he's done it in the past; and I don't see why he wouldn't do it in the future. (2) Yes Richardson has handled the ball but not as a point guard.

I'll be interested in seeing what defense Udoka runs but if his defense is anything like what was being run in summer league (and one would think that they would use the same basic principles), they were running the basic zone up top; switch on PnRs; and replaces mismatches from with the baseline bigs.

(3) I'm personally not as worried about MS guarding 1s because as EJ says, teams can always get 1s switched on to whomever they want and hopefully the Cs will have more/better help along the back line. What I thought really hurt Marcus last year is that he had to chase shooters all over the court because there was no one else in the starting 5 that could do it, and while he tries hard enough, moving his big body through a bevy of screens isn't his strength. Maybe JRich or DS can handle that this year.
(1) That may very well be the case! If I had to guess, team seniority and clarity for roles may mean Smart starts next to Richardson. I'm not saying that won't happen. But I wouldn't be surprised to very quickly see Smart and Schroder closing a lot of games.

I wasn't trying to make a descriptive argument, I was saying what I would prefer. I think it gives the Celtics more offensive flexibility, and it puts less pressure on Marcus to run the offense. I think Marcus makes the Jays better and can be an excellent playmaker, but when he's asked to do too much, it limits the offense. With Schroder out there next to him, you'd have two excellent passers on the first unit and Schroder would be able to chase 1's around and handle pick and rolls.

(2) He averaged 4 assists his last year in Miami on a team almost entirely made up of shooting guards, and seemed to be trending toward being a decent facilitator, but playing on Philly and Dallas limited his opportunity to grow on that front: Simmons and Embiid always had the ball in their hands. Same story in Dallas: starting next to Doncic meant most of his game was limited. I wonder if he's still got room to grow there.

It's not like Richardson and PP will be put on the floor at exactly the same time, anyway: Schroder will come out for Richardson, and Smart will run the offense a little, and then a few minutes later Smart will come out, and Tatum will stay in and run the offense for a while next to Richardson or PP, etc. Some of this will also depend on Tatum's growth.

(3) Right, but if they're going to be switching, they're not going to be hunting Marcus of all people, they're going to hunt Horford or even Jaylen. Horford is a good help defender and all, but he's lost a step on the perimeter, and by now teams will be able to see if Jaylen is engaged or not defensively by the end of the first quarter. But I think you're totally right that having Schroder and Richardson to chase guys through screens will be a huge improvement over Kemba especially. I think Smart is actually excellent at fighting through screens, but it's easier for him to play that role if Schroder is taking the pressure off him to chase 1's around.

This is all nitpicking, anyway: it's really nice to have at least four guys who can penetrate between Schroder, Richardson, Tatum and Brown. Last year it was really just Tatum, Brown, and Kemba. PP and Smart will both probably struggle mightily to do that, even if Smart has improved on his two-point shooting in the last few years.
 

Eddie Jurak

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To me, DS was brought in to run the second-unit offense. He'll be the best guy to do it; he's done it in the past; and I don't see why he wouldn't do it in the future. Yes Richardson has handled the ball but not as a point guard.
Exactly.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2021/8/18/22626748/what-does-dennis-schroder-add-to-the-boston-celtics-jayson-tatum-marcus-smart-jaylen-brown-nba

Schröder is only a season removed from coming second in the Sixth Man of the Year
voting and last season, he provided the Los Angeles Lakers with a reliable ball-handler next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Like most score-first point guards, Schröder’s bread and butter offense comes from pick-and-roll actions. In fact, Schröder used the pick-and-roll twice as much as any other form of offense, with it accounting for 34.9% of his total attacking possessions.
According to @InStatBasket tracking data, Schroder had 116 assists as a ball-handler in PnR situations last season. Good mix of pocket passes, redirection off penetration, and kick-outs too.
So he runs the pick and roll a lot, and should be able to make it work with any of our 3 centers. Williams and Kanter to roll or Horford to pop (and leave the lane open for Schroder to drive).
With the high usage rate the veteran has had throughout his eight seasons in the NBA, it’s easy to get enticed by his 4.7 dimes per game career average, but when digging deeper, the picture becomes a little clearer. According to Cleaning The Glass, Schröder’s assist-to-usage ratio has always been below league average.
He's a very high usage guy, but also very much a score first guy.

All of this kind of screams out "6th man" to me. If there's a point in the game where the Jays (and especially Tatum) are resting, the offense should be Schroder running pick and roll. When the Jays are in with Schroder, he'll be more of a secondary guy as he was in LA last year. But when one or both of them are out, he should get the keys.
 

mcpickl

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It will be interesting what he does with Horford and if he will play two-bigs like he did with him and Embiid.
I have a bad feeling Horford and Williams are going to start together.

Kanter agreeing to the minimum relatively quickly into free agency makes me think they told him he'll get minutes.

If they limited Horford to center, or at least mostly center, Kanter would just be insurance for injuries. The injuries are sure to happen, but I'd imagine he signed thinking he won't need the injuries to Al/Rob to get playing time.
 

benhogan

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I have a bad feeling Horford and Williams are going to start together.

Kanter agreeing to the minimum relatively quickly into free agency makes me think they told him he'll get minutes.

If they limited Horford to center, or at least mostly center, Kanter would just be insurance for injuries. The injuries are sure to happen, but I'd imagine he signed thinking he won't need the injuries to Al/Rob to get playing time.
Hope not. While Al at the 4 (w/Baynes) for ~14mpg three seasons back was very efficient, those days are gone. He's gotten older and the game has gotten faster. Al/Rob should never be on the court together. Kanter should easily get plenty of situational minutes (along w/Grant, Fernando +1 more Center) since both Al/Rob will get load managed &/or be injured.

I really like the idea of Schroder running the offense at the end of Q1/Q3 and beginning of Q2/Q4 with JRich, TL, Nesmith, and 1 of the Jays.

Smart, PP, Tatum, Brown, Horford starting 5.

My way to early, regular season rotation.
 

Jimbodandy

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Hope not. While Al at the 4 (w/Baynes) for ~14mpg three seasons back was very efficient, those days are gone. He's gotten older and the game has gotten faster. Al/Rob should never be on the court together. Kanter should easily get plenty of situational minutes (along w/Grant, Fernando +1 more Center) since both Al/Rob will get load managed &/or be injured.

I really like the idea of Schroder running the offense at the end of Q1/Q3 and beginning of Q2/Q4 with JRich, TL, Nesmith, and 1 of the Jays.

Smart, PP, Tatum, Brown, Horford starting 5.

My way to early, regular season rotation.
At the risk of taking over the Marcus thread with 2-bigs talk, I wouldn't be surprised if we see TL and Al together in very specific matchups. It is generally a bad idea of course, but against certain 2-big lineups for stretches, it might not be so awful.

TL is quick and athletic enough that you won't get burned that badly for having two immobile guys out there in the right situation. And Al can shoot, so you're not getting killed terribly on spacing/shooting. I can see this for a few minutes against say Lopez/Portis type lineups.

You can't run TL + Kanter (2 non-shooters) or Al + Kanter (two slow bastards), but I think that you can run TL and Al...sparingly.
 

JakeRae

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At the risk of taking over the Marcus thread with 2-bigs talk, I wouldn't be surprised if we see TL and Al together in very specific matchups. It is generally a bad idea of course, but against certain 2-big lineups for stretches, it might not be so awful.

TL is quick and athletic enough that you won't get burned that badly for having two immobile guys out there in the right situation. And Al can shoot, so you're not getting killed terribly on spacing/shooting. I can see this for a few minutes against say Lopez/Portis type lineups.

You can't run TL + Kanter (2 non-shooters) or Al + Kanter (two slow bastards), but I think that you can run TL and Al...sparingly.
Agreed on this. Timelord and Al or Grant Williams can potentially work if Timelord can defend the 4 capably because both Al and Grant can play big wing positions offensively. I’m not sure if Timelord can do that skill wise even though I think he can athleticism wise.
 

Just a bit outside

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