Boston Celtics: Player report cards for Christmas

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Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images /
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NBA Power Rankings
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Kyrie Irving: A+

Any conversation about the Celtics’ guards starts and ends with Kyrie Irving. The former Duke Blue Devil has been ethereal this season, carrying the offensive load while delivering the single best defensive season of his career.

Kyrie is averaging 22.9 points and a career-high 6.4 assists while posting .483/.404/.840 shooting splits on the season. He also ranks third in the association in Win Shares among qualified guards, which is a testament to just how much Irving has carried Boston at times this season.

After a slow start through the first seven games, Kyrie has been playing MVP-caliber basketball.

Marcus Smart: A

Marcus Smart has been showing the league why general manager Danny Ainge paid him this past summer. He provided a massive boost to the Celtics when they were a measly 10-10, as Boston has gone 8-2 since Smart entered the starting lineup.

His hands have been as active as ever as he’s averaging a career-high 1.8 steals and posting a career-high 2.3 defensive box plus-minus. His DBPM is also good for third among qualified guards behind just Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons.

On top of all that, Smart is enjoying the best shooting season of his career in his fourth year. His counting numbers have risen since his entry to the starting lineup, which appears to be a permanent spot. In 10 games since being named a starter, Smart is averaging 9.1 points and 4.8 assists a night on .411/.362/.778 shooting splits while being a +11.2.