Getting Smart with Statistics

Jimbodandy

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I think that we're seeing continued improvement in his offense and playmaking without a dropoff in defense and hustle plays. It's great to watch.

I was a bit worried about him after the 8-game regular season and the Philly series, as he struggled in a number of areas. I think that the illness took a ton out of him. But he seems better than ever since the Toronto series started, and we have needed every bit of it.
 

RorschachsMask

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I think that's a bit overstated. He benefits a lot from his teammates. It is an impressive improvement though.
They benefit a ton from him too, offensively speaking. He’s great at spacing the floor, swinging the ball, etc.

I’m not saying he will be as good as either of them offensively, but I wouldn’t be overtly surprised.
 

radsoxfan

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Smart seems destined to be a sub 40% FG shooter and make occasional boneheaded plays towards the end of the games. But given his incredible defense and everything else he does well, he has exceeded all of my expectations. A great pick and now on a very reasonable contract.

Early in his career his 3 PT % (25% and 28% years 2 and 3) and his FT % (65% year 1) were threatening to limit his ability to have the impact we all hoped he would. But he has really improved the FT% (81% and 84% last 2 years) and his 3 PT % has also become acceptable (36% and 35% last 2 years).

Have to give him credit, as improving his shooting to this level has given him the chance to showcase everything else he does REALLY well.
 

nighthob

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The Pfister Hotel, it's notorious for weird sounds, phantom knocks, and bizarre electrical anomalies (TVs going on or off at random, etc.).
 

Red Right Ankle

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The Pfister Hotel, it's notorious for weird sounds, phantom knocks, and bizarre electrical anomalies (TVs going on or off at random, etc.).
I did a conference at the Brewers' facility once where they had a member of the travel department talk about how they would book rookies into that hotel as a prank.
 

nighthob

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There’s a hotel down in Lake Worth Florida that was like that too. You can never get all the ancient wiring out of buildings like that (on the historic register), so you get those freaky electrical anomalies that make you jump out of your skin.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'll start by saying I'm not a Marcus Smart fan (or a hater) and think the team would be just as good with a better shooter in the lineup. With that said, am I the only one who is finding his early season struggles to be completely overblown? I find it especially funny because this board loves itself some Marcus Smart.

There are also some signs that show he is taking the shot selection thing seriously, with a career high % of his shots coming from 3 (63.6%). Unfortunately, he's been terrible at the rim in the early going (11.4% of shots, 40% FG%. Career FG: 55.2% ) Some of that struggle could be the midsection. He's currently at a career low (tied) 3.6 2PA/G and at 6.3 3PA/G which would only trail last season's 7.4. The other year he only attempted 3.6 2PA/G was 2018/19 which was by far his most efficient season offensively. In his other 5 seasons, he shot 2 PFGs from .410 to .429 , in 18/19 it was .511. That year, he had a career high TS% of .568. The only other year he was over .500 was last year at .518. A lot of that is because he started shooting 3s at a much better clip but some of it was shot selection, as you can tell with the dip from 18/19 to 19/20. This year he is currently at .559 but he's also shooting .429 from 3.

All his other rate stats are in line with his career outside of rebounding, which is down from 6.6% to 3.3%. Really, in the first 5 games it looks like he just traded some defense for some offense. It's a 5 game sample though, which means much of nothing. I just don't think he's been "bad" this year.

The difference between him and Grant is Smart is still a 25 minute player with a thicker midsection. He's not on the fringes and has played on the thicker side before while still being productive. Grant Williams has not and was in pretty close to the best conditioning of his life last season.

I also wouldn't mind Smart sacrificing a little defense for offense but I'm one of the few people in the Port Cellar who prefer offense to defense. Of course in the early going it looks like has has sacrificed a lot but I think that's just noise. He's not going to be a 122/115 O/Drtg player this year. The last 2 years he was 113/107 and 110/107. I'd guess maybe this year he's at like 115/110. The ORtg has been on a steady but slow incline while the DRtg has been on a steady but slow decline. There are other stats that suggest the same thing, but with even less defensive decline.

I'm guessing this is how most players progress as they age anyway. Their skills (3 point shooting, passing etc) become sharper but their physical tools begin to fade. I'm in no way implying Smart still isn't a top defender, just that he's probably plateaued on defense while he still has room for growth on offense. I'm just glad to see him mostly living behind the arc. I think he's in for his best offensive year to date, which means I may be joining the Smart fan club.
 

lovegtm

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There was a great example yesterday of Smart passing up an open 3 to get Theis an easy bucket.
I think Smart has done a great job of picking the right spots, not forcing bad 2s, taking good 3s mostly, and drawing fouls in the lane. His offensive game is noticeably improved.

This team will look a ton better once he sheds that spare tire and gets back to playing elite D.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I think Smart has done a great job of picking the right spots, not forcing bad 2s, taking good 3s mostly, and drawing fouls in the lane. His offensive game is noticeably improved.
The Jays agree:
“His energy and his poise on the offensive end have been great for us,” said Brown, who poured in a game-high 31 points in Detroit. “We've asked him to step up and play the point guard position and he's matched that. He's got me easy baskets, he's gotten Jayson easy baskets and he's gotten himself even baskets as well. I'm proud to see Marcus Smart's growth and the responsibility that he's gotten, he's handled it well in the first seven games.”
Smart’s decision-making during that play and throughout the season hasn’t been lost on Tatum, either.

“He's been running the team,” said the All-Star wing. “Starting point, making sure that we're in our spots, and just making sure we organize. And he's been doing a really good job at it.”
 

lovegtm

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Is it just me, or has Marcus looked like dogshit on the defensive end all year? Butler just tooled on him last night, and he made a lot of really dumb mistakes/fouls.

This will probably draw flak, but out of everyone on the roster, he's the actual sell-high candidate. If his defense keeps slipping with age, I want no part of his 28-32 years at $20M+.

Before everyone jumps all over this, I know that it's early and no decisions can be or have to be made yet. Just something I'm watching.
 

shoelace

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Is it just me, or has Marcus looked like dogshit on the defensive end all year? Butler just tooled on him last night, and he made a lot of really dumb mistakes/fouls.

This will probably draw flak, but out of everyone on the roster, he's the actual sell-high candidate. If his defense keeps slipping with age, I want no part of his 28-32 years at $20M+.

Before everyone jumps all over this, I know that it's early and no decisions can be or have to be made yet. Just something I'm watching.
I don't think you'll take too much flak for it. He looks off, I feel like other posters have mentioned that he seems out of shape as compared to previous years (I thought he had a weight clause in his contract?). I wonder if being asked to move from a sort of secondary/opportunistic creator role to more of a primary creator role in Kemba's absence is forcing him to expend more energy on offense, and that's compounded by potentially being out of shape due to the shortened offseason, and the compressed nature of the schedule this season.

Something to keep an eye on for sure.
 

lovegtm

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I don't think you'll take too much flak for it. He looks off, I feel like other posters have mentioned that he seems out of shape as compared to previous years (I thought he had a weight clause in his contract?). I wonder if being asked to move from a sort of secondary/opportunistic creator role to more of a primary creator role in Kemba's absence is forcing him to expend more energy on offense, and that's compounded by potentially being out of shape due to the shortened offseason, and the compressed nature of the schedule this season.

Something to keep an eye on for sure.
To be clear, I think he looks better offensively than he ever has, particularly in terms of passing and being able to draw fouls. That's just not quite valuable enough if the D isn't there.

Hopefully it's just a conditioning issue; we'll know by Feb I suppose.
 

benhogan

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Is it just me, or has Marcus looked like dogshit on the defensive end all year? Butler just tooled on him last night, and he made a lot of really dumb mistakes/fouls.

This will probably draw flak, but out of everyone on the roster, he's the actual sell-high candidate. If his defense keeps slipping with age, I want no part of his 28-32 years at $20M+.

Before everyone jumps all over this, I know that it's early and no decisions can be or have to be made yet. Just something I'm watching.
His defense is clearly off. Seems like a bunch of NBA guys have a conditioning issue. Which in my book (not everyone's) is understandable (re COVID).

With a condensed schedule, maybe his plan was to work his way into shape. Think Grant and TT suffered from this also

Hard NO on selling. I agree, it's worth keeping an eye on down the road. JayCrew is the only Hard NO on selling IMO.
I think once he drops a few pounds his defense will come back + his offense is still improving
 
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slamminsammya

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Is it just me, or has Marcus looked like dogshit on the defensive end all year? Butler just tooled on him last night, and he made a lot of really dumb mistakes/fouls.

This will probably draw flak, but out of everyone on the roster, he's the actual sell-high candidate. If his defense keeps slipping with age, I want no part of his 28-32 years at $20M+.

Before everyone jumps all over this, I know that it's early and no decisions can be or have to be made yet. Just something I'm watching.
The end of the half foul on Herro was absurd. But I don't think it has any predictive value. I didn't notice any particularly bad Smart plays besides that one last night. I did notice a few times where he seemed to be icing someone and the help didn't arrive or was late. Not sure if that is a communication issue or if Smart was doing his own thing since he is struggling to stay in front of guys right now.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm not looking to sell Marcus, especially with Kemba being so iffy, but he's not 100% off limits for me either. Only the Jay's have that distinction now. I was an early proponent of Jaylen for Harden but no longer am after seeing how good he's been. But, if some combination of Kemba/Smart/young guys/picks can land Harden or another top or impact player, I remain interested. Obviously, I don't expect that to happen.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Agreed, he looks a little slow (quickness wise) and is getting beat off the bounce. But I don't expect that to continue all season and I'd only deal him if it's part of a star acquisition. I think he's really important defensively and also in terms of his mentality.
 

NomarsFool

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PP bailed us out at the end, but Smart's shot to end the game was garbage. He has a lot of those 'out of control I hope I get bailed out by officials while I yell "Ayee!" shots'

He hits a lot of big 3PAs, and he's a great passer. He's also good at driving and dishing - but as a finisher, I think he is really pretty poor.
 

lovegtm

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PP bailed us out at the end, but Smart's shot to end the game was garbage. He has a lot of those 'out of control I hope I get bailed out by officials while I yell "Ayee!" shots'

He hits a lot of big 3PAs, and he's a great passer. He's also good at driving and dishing - but as a finisher, I think he is really pretty poor.
Na he had Robinson on the last drive, got him to commit with the upfake, and drew a textbook, obvious foul that wasn’t called.

I suppose you can fault him given how officials call late-game when they don’t have Giannis to fellate, but attacking Robinson and getting right to the rim is about as good as you’ll get in that spot.
 

NomarsFool

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I suppose you can fault him given how officials call late-game when they don’t have Giannis to fellate
Yes, he should know this. I'm all for driving to the basket - but Smart is just not a very good finisher, in my opinion. I'd rather see the Jays taking the final shot (although the Tatum shots at the end of games have continue to be poor quality). Or even somebody else taking an open jumper than wild shots like that one (and I feel like Smart does that not infrequently).
 

SteveF

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Na he had Robinson on the last drive, got him to commit with the upfake, and drew a textbook, obvious foul that wasn’t called.
NBA agrees with you. They have 4 incorrect calls/non-calls and all 4 disadvantaged the Celtics, including Tatum's foul on Robinson's 4 point play.
 

TripleOT

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Smart isn’t a great finisher, but I’ll take that matchup with DuncRob any time for the win
 

slamminsammya

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Na he had Robinson on the last drive, got him to commit with the upfake, and drew a textbook, obvious foul that wasn’t called.

I suppose you can fault him given how officials call late-game when they don’t have Giannis to fellate, but attacking Robinson and getting right to the rim is about as good as you’ll get in that spot.
The irony of it is Bam was just waiting to block the shit out of Smart and Robinson came in late and managed to both foul Smart and block Bam out of the play.
 

The Mort Report

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I still think something is wrong with his back. The last couple games whenever he was on the bench, he had his back wrapped in a pretty heavy duty looking wrap. It would also explain on D where instead of taking that extra step he's reaching or lunging
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'll start by saying I'm not a Marcus Smart fan (or a hater) and think the team would be just as good with a better shooter in the lineup. With that said, am I the only one who is finding his early season struggles to be completely overblown? I find it especially funny because this board loves itself some Marcus Smart.

There are also some signs that show he is taking the shot selection thing seriously, with a career high % of his shots coming from 3 (63.6%). Unfortunately, he's been terrible at the rim in the early going (11.4% of shots, 40% FG%. Career FG: 55.2% ) Some of that struggle could be the midsection. He's currently at a career low (tied) 3.6 2PA/G and at 6.3 3PA/G which would only trail last season's 7.4. The other year he only attempted 3.6 2PA/G was 2018/19 which was by far his most efficient season offensively. In his other 5 seasons, he shot 2 PFGs from .410 to .429 , in 18/19 it was .511. That year, he had a career high TS% of .568. The only other year he was over .500 was last year at .518. A lot of that is because he started shooting 3s at a much better clip but some of it was shot selection, as you can tell with the dip from 18/19 to 19/20. This year he is currently at .559 but he's also shooting .429 from 3.

All his other rate stats are in line with his career outside of rebounding, which is down from 6.6% to 3.3%. Really, in the first 5 games it looks like he just traded some defense for some offense. It's a 5 game sample though, which means much of nothing. I just don't think he's been "bad" this year.

The difference between him and Grant is Smart is still a 25 minute player with a thicker midsection. He's not on the fringes and has played on the thicker side before while still being productive. Grant Williams has not and was in pretty close to the best conditioning of his life last season.

I also wouldn't mind Smart sacrificing a little defense for offense but I'm one of the few people in the Port Cellar who prefer offense to defense. Of course in the early going it looks like has has sacrificed a lot but I think that's just noise. He's not going to be a 122/115 O/Drtg player this year. The last 2 years he was 113/107 and 110/107. I'd guess maybe this year he's at like 115/110. The ORtg has been on a steady but slow incline while the DRtg has been on a steady but slow decline. There are other stats that suggest the same thing, but with even less defensive decline.

I'm guessing this is how most players progress as they age anyway. Their skills (3 point shooting, passing etc) become sharper but their physical tools begin to fade. I'm in no way implying Smart still isn't a top defender, just that he's probably plateaued on defense while he still has room for growth on offense. I'm just glad to see him mostly living behind the arc. I think he's in for his best offensive year to date, which means I may be joining the Smart fan club.

And now he's at a career high in FGA/G, a career high in 2PA/G, and 50.7% of his shots have been 2PFGA.

In 2018/19, 39.0% of his shot attempts were 2 pointers, last year it was 42.1%. His shot selection has gotten worse. He's also currently at a career low 42.9% from 0-3. Previously, his low was .488, his career is .548.

He's also at an all time low in assisted 2PFG%, at 24.2%. His career rate is .375.

On a good note, he's hitting 41.7% of his corner 3s, but they only make up 16.0% of his 3 point attempts. For his career, he's shooting 34.7% from the corner 3 and it makes up 19.6% of his 3 point attempts.

He's also currently shooting .375/.320/.732. I don't think I'll ever really be comfortable with Marcus Smart as a 3 point shooter. Part of me thinks he'll get his 3 point % back up to .350, another thinks he'll regress back to the .sub .300 shooter he used to be. Or even his career average of .318.
 

JakeRae

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And now he's at a career high in FGA/G, a career high in 2PA/G, and 50.7% of his shots have been 2PFGA.

In 2018/19, 39.0% of his shot attempts were 2 pointers, last year it was 42.1%. His shot selection has gotten worse. He's also currently at a career low 42.9% from 0-3. Previously, his low was .488, his career is .548.

He's also at an all time low in assisted 2PFG%, at 24.2%. His career rate is .375.

On a good note, he's hitting 41.7% of his corner 3s, but they only make up 16.0% of his 3 point attempts. For his career, he's shooting 34.7% from the corner 3 and it makes up 19.6% of his 3 point attempts.

He's also currently shooting .375/.320/.732. I don't think I'll ever really be comfortable with Marcus Smart as a 3 point shooter. Part of me thinks he'll get his 3 point % back up to .350, another thinks he'll regress back to the .sub .300 shooter he used to be. Or even his career average of .318.
Smart was shooting .362 from three until Tatum went out and is .250 since then. His shots per game has also gone from 9.8 to 16. I think the recent struggles are best attributed to pressing due to Tatum’s absence. Let’s wait for Tatum to be back before assuming that something fundamental has changed.
 

radsoxfan

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Certainly cringe inducing every time he is trying to create midrange 2PT shots for himself. That's gotta be one of the lowest percentage plays in the NBA for someone who gets a lot of playing time. We can only hope when Tatum comes back he cuts a lot of that out and his 3PT shooting becomes respectable again.

His D also seems worse to me this year. Too many minutes? Trying to do too much on offense? Out of shape? Small sample size?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Smart was shooting .362 from three until Tatum went out and is .250 since then. His shots per game has also gone from 9.8 to 16. I think the recent struggles are best attributed to pressing due to Tatum’s absence. Let’s wait for Tatum to be back before assuming that something fundamental has changed.
That's fair but as far as his 3 point shooting goes, I'm not sure much of anything fundamental has changed and that's what worries me. Even in 18/19 and 19/20 I was waiting for his 3 point % to crater.

Plus, during the time Tatum's been out, Smart's FG% has actually improved. He went from .352/.362/.775 to .375/.320/.732.

Without Tatum, he's at .406/.250/.625.

He started the year 15/34 from 3 in his first 6 games. Since, he's 10/41 in his last 7. These are all small sample sizes and I'm not saying they are indictive of anything. I'll just be keeping a close eye on his 3 point production.

We will see which way he goes but I think it's also fair to question his 3 point shot. He can't fall off much from last year's .347 without it becoming a negative.
 

Cesar Crespo

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His D also seems worse to me this year. Too many minutes? Trying to do too much on offense? Out of shape? Small sample size?
SSS and conditioning. He's played a lot of his early career on the thicker side too, (14/15 thru 17/18) although I'd guess it's easier to play "out of shape" when you are 20-24 as opposed to being 27 in a few months.
 

NomarsFool

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I feel like Smart is an incredible “clutch” defender, but not terribly remarkable as an every trip down the floor defender.

The guy has the ability to make amazing defensive plays when it really matters - coming up with an improbable steal or getting an offensive foul when the game is on the line. Really spectacular at that, I’d say. But, I’m not that sure he really shuts people down all game long, nor does anybody, really. That’s a bit why I think the DPOY stuff is a bit too much. He doesn’t block shots to change a teams approach to the game or get much in the way of rebounds.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I feel like Smart is an incredible “clutch” defender, but not terribly remarkable as an every trip down the floor defender.

The guy has the ability to make amazing defensive plays when it really matters - coming up with an improbable steal or getting an offensive foul when the game is on the line. Really spectacular at that, I’d say. But, I’m not that sure he really shuts people down all game long, nor does anybody, really. That’s a bit why I think the DPOY stuff is a bit too much. He doesn’t block shots to change a teams approach to the game or get much in the way of rebounds.
What do rebounds really have to do with defense? I mean, some, but the rebound comes after the defense has been played and the shot is missed. What if Marcus Smart averaged 4.0 offensive rebounds a game, would that change your opinion about his defense?

A shot blocker does change a team's approach, but a lot less in 2021 than every year prior. That is a trend that will continue. Unless that shot blocker has the range to block shots beyond the arch too, anyway.
 

Euclis20

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The rebound doesn't come after the defense is played, a defensive rebound is what ends a successful defensive possession (other than via turnover). Obviously Marcus Smart averaging 4 offensive rebounds per game shouldn't change anyone's perception of his defense, but if he was averaging 6 defensive rebounds per game (instead of around 3), it damn sure should would make him look like a better overall defender. Rim protection isn't the only reason that the DPOY is almost always a big man, and it's not the only reason why 4/5's of last year's all defense team were 6'10 or taller. Defensive rebounding is absolutely a part of the defense.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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SSS and conditioning. He's played a lot of his early career on the thicker side too, (14/15 thru 17/18) although I'd guess it's easier to play "out of shape" when you are 20-24 as opposed to being 27 in a few months.
It's very on brand that you think someone on this team is out of shape. I appreciate the consistency.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The rebound doesn't come after the defense is played, a defensive rebound is what ends a successful defensive possession (other than via turnover). Obviously Marcus Smart averaging 4 offensive rebounds per game shouldn't change anyone's perception of his defense, but if he was averaging 6 defensive rebounds per game (instead of around 3), it damn sure should would make him look like a better overall defender. Rim protection isn't the only reason that the DPOY is almost always a big man, and it's not the only reason why 4/5's of last year's all defense team were 6'10 or taller. Defensive rebounding is absolutely a part of the defense.
Yeah, but if Marcus Smart causes Devin Booker to miss his 3 point shot and TT gets the rebound... did Marcus Smart offer less on defense than TT? It's hard to word what I'm getting at but it's not Marcus Smart's job to rebound the basketball. He's also not going to be in a position to do so very often. TT will be. What is it more important for Marcus Smart to do? Make his man miss or get the rebound?

The DPOY list is usually dominated by players 6'10 or taller anyway but I don't think it's because they get more rebounds than guards. It's because they take up a lot more real estate than guards. Their length alone allows them to make a greater impact on the game and the fact they are clogging the lane defensively means they'll get more opportunities as well. It just makes sense that a Center has more impact on a game defensively than any other position, even in today's NBA.



I wasn't really making a case for Marcus Smart being DPOY, I don't think he is. It's not because of his rebounding though.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It's very on brand that you think someone on this team is out of shape. I appreciate the consistency.
Most of them are actually in pretty good shape/great shape. I think Grant and Smart came in a little heavy and while Time Lord has a great physique, he should probably do some more cardio. It's also relative to other NBA players, not SoSH posters.

Jaylen Brown and Semi are f'n beasts. PP is in great shape too. Tatum is lean and mean.
 

Euclis20

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Yeah, but if Marcus Smart causes Devin Booker to miss his 3 point shot and TT gets the rebound... did Marcus Smart offer less on defense than TT? It's hard to word what I'm getting at but it's not Marcus Smart's job to rebound the basketball. He's also not going to be in a position to do so very often. TT will be. What is it more important for Marcus Smart to do? Make his man miss or get the rebound?

The DPOY list is usually dominated by players 6'10 or taller anyway but I don't think it's because they get more rebounds than guards. It's because they take up a lot more real estate than guards. Their length alone allows them to make a greater impact on the game and the fact they are clogging the lane defensively means they'll get more opportunities as well. It just makes sense that a Center has more impact on a game defensively than any other position, even in today's NBA.



I wasn't really making a case for Marcus Smart being DPOY, I don't think he is. It's not because of his rebounding though.
Defense is a team game. Rebounding is a major aspect of defense, it's how non-scoring possessions end roughly 70% of the time. I'm not saying TT's defensive rebound is more or less important than the on-ball defender, but it is absolutely a key component of a successful defense. When factoring in a player's total defensive contributions, rebounds are absolutely a part of that and it's fair to note that even for his size, Smart isn't a particularly good rebounder.

I didn't think this would be a controversial point. If defensive rebounding isn't a part of a team's defense, what is it exactly? Is rebounding wholly separate from offensive and defense (the special teams of basketball)?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Defense is a team game. Rebounding is a major aspect of defense, it's how non-scoring possessions end roughly 70% of the time. I'm not saying TT's defensive rebound is more or less important than the on-ball defender, but it is absolutely a key component of a successful defense. When factoring in a player's total defensive contributions, rebounds are absolutely a part of that and it's fair to note that even for his size, Smart isn't a particularly good rebounder.

I didn't think this would be a controversial point. If defensive rebounding isn't a part of a team's defense, what is it exactly? Is rebounding wholly separate from offensive and defense (the special teams of basketball)?
I think you said it yourself. Rebounds are more of a team defense thing so TT getting the rebound is more "team". Marcus Smart shutting down Booker one on one is more "Marcus Smart. "