WHY IS HE INVISIBLE?
The NBA released the 2017 GM surveys, and Marcus Smart keeps getting overlooked by the league. The GMs voted for What bench player makes the biggest impact when he enters the game, and Marcus did not even receive a single vote. Take a look:
Yes, correct. Not even a single vote. Despite Marcus having his best season yet. Let’s take a look at his numbers last season:
10.6 Points, 4.6 Assists
When we talk about the most complete player of the bench, Marcus Smart tops the list. Smart did have another terrible shooting year, with splits of .359/.283/.812. But Marcus impacts winning like no other bench player. From diving for a ball, to deflections, to grabbing big time rebounds in crunch time or grabbing a loose ball, he does a bit of everything that don’t show up in the traditional stat sheet. And we don’t even need to mention his defense.
Marcus had more points, more assists and the same rebounding averages as Iggy. No disrespect to Iguodala, he’s an important piece for the Warriors. When I look at that list, I see scorers. Players that only play one side of the ball. Gordon is a tremendous scorer but nothing more. He’s not a key defensive player, nor a play maker. Same could be said for Jamal and Lou Williams.
Of all of those players, only Igoudala can impact a game on both ends of the floor.
So why no mention for Marcus?
The only logical reason rests on Marcus’ offensive game. Marcus has a career shooting splits of .358/.291/.762 — not great. He’s not the instant bucket guy that you look for off the bench. But what do we define as impactful?
BIG TIME BOARDS
When Marcus is not scoring, he’s doing this:
With five seconds left, Crowder takes a corner three and missed. And look who comes flying down to keep the ball alive for Al to score and to give the Celtics the lead. That’s impact.
Same situation here. A missed shot and another big time put-back by Smart over the defense.
At the end of the day, Celtics know the impact Marcus have for this team. The GM’s have yet to open their eyes and see Marcus impact, but with a even bigger role of the bench this season, we will see different opinions around the league.
Marcus Smart says Stevens wanted to start him last night but Smart told Stevens that he wanted to come off bench/that he relishes that role.
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) October 3, 2017
You can find me on Twitter at @KaardoNBA