Marcus Smart was inserted in the starting lineup in the win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Should the Boston Celtics continue to experiment with Smart playing with the starters?
The Boston Celtics have not started the season off as well as many had anticipated. They’ve hovered around the .500 mark all season, currently sitting at 11-10. For a team that has championship aspirations, the Celtics must get better.
To make matters worse, they’ve been pretty banged up this season. There’s yet to be any major injuries, but there have been numerous day-to-day issues — something that’s been pretty common for Boston in the past.
Jaylen Brown was held out of Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans after suffering an injury to his tailbone against the Dallas Mavericks. Because he was injured, the Celtics inserted Marcus Smart into the starting lineup.
It was only one game, but they were able to turn things around and look like a completely different team. Boston won by a large margin of 124-107 over the Pelicans. It’s hard to say the reason they won this game was because of Smart being in the starting lineup, but it’s something the Celtics should continue to try out.
It appears that this change is something they’re considering:
Keeping Smart in the starting lineup wouldn’t be a bad thing. His offense is not up to par compared to some of the other starters like Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum. However, Smart may have the biggest heart and more passion for Boston than any other player. After all, he has been on the team the longest.
Smart is also one of the better defenders in the league. Inserting him in the starting lineup means other players like Irving and Tatum have the ability to get more shots up. That’s exactly what happened on Monday, as Irving logged 26 points and Tatum added 20. Al Horford and Marcus Morris had good scoring nights as well, scoring 20 and 19, respectively.
The only player in the starting lineup who didn’t score in double figures was Smart. So why does it feel like all the buzz is surrounding him after Monday night’s win? It’s because he brings energy, grit and defense.
When Smart is in the starting lineup, he helps the guys around him play better because they feed off his energy. Chris Forsberg of NBC Boston says that Smart is the Boston’s version of Draymond Green.
Green may not possess the same offensive talent as the other players on his team, but he brings defense, hustle and passion — all things that a successful team needs.
The question remains as to whether or not Smart will stay in the starting lineup. However, seeing as how the team has played thus far this season, it makes complete sense to run him with the starters and try something new. Hopefully that will inject some life into this team and it can make a run before it’s too late.
The only issue with keeping him in the starting lineup is it takes away some of that energy off the bench, which is something that head coach Brad Stevens addressed with the media.
Marcus Smart should remain in the starting lineup after the Celtics looked like a different team in their win over the Pelicans. Until things change otherwise, Boston should experiment with him running with the starters. The clock is ticking, but the team may have found an answer to its early season problems.