Well the NBA season is officially over but the NBA Summer League is just getting started. The Celtics rookies kicked off their summer season Saturday down in Orlando as they took on the Miami Heat, giving us all a first look at the new draft class which included first round draft picks, Celtics’ Marcus Smart (who went 6th overall) and the Miami Heat’s Shabazz Napier (17th overall).
So how exactly did Marcus Smart look? Great for a first game (although some would say Summer League doesn’t mean anything)…however, he did a good job off the pick and roll but had a little trouble sinking shots in the first 3 quarters. Smart was 0 for 5 at the 3 point arc and 2 for 8 in the field. That will come with time; he just needs to get acclimated to offensive play in the NBA. Defensively, he looked sharp and had 6 steals. Smart played aggressively with a lot of energy and confidence for his first game as an NBA guard. Smart comes in at 6ft 3 and 230lbs, which is a size advantage he has over the typical guard. The combination of Smart and guard Phil Pressey on Saturday forced 24 turnovers and kept Miami’s shooting to 32%. Which, I”m sure we’ll see more of during the coming Celtics season. Not bad. Celtics took the win 85-77 making the C’s 1-0.
Coach Brad Stevens had a few words about Smart after the game stating, “At the end of the day, he just did so much defensively that is way beyond his years, not only physically but mentally. He’s obviously been well-coached at multiple levels.” Stevens also went on to say that he’s extremely happy with the way the game went and he couldn’t be happier with his draft decisions.
Smart who was drafted to the Celtics from Oklahoma State was a huge defender, he averaged 15.4 points per game and 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He had a little trouble scoring outside last season but he’s remained an aggressive force. I can’t wait to see how he progresses by the start of the season. Now Boston has 4 solid guards. So, the only question I have next is, what’s going to happen with Rondo?
I’ll keep you posted!