Marcus Smart will be the most unique sixth man in the NBA for the Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have long known that Marcus Smart is one of the most unique players in the NBA. He defense was immediately ready, but the offense was a complete mess. Right now, that has not changed too much, but Smart has rounded into into the most unique sixth man in the entire NBA.
When you think about that sixth man of the year award, you always think of the scoring specialists. You think of the players that provide a boost off the bench, like Lou Williams, Eric Gordon or Jamal Crawford.
Having a sixth man that can come in and manufacture points in spurts when the second unit is not able to function well is incredibly valuable. The Celtics have some options like, but they want a lot more from these bench players.
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Smart, on the other hand, is a pure defensive specialist, and that is why he is still on the court in the most important minutes. The Celtics are able to put Smart out there when the defense is falling off a bit, and he provides an immediate spark on that end.
Smart is the best defensive player in the entire NBA coming off the bench. In fact, he might be the best defensive guard period and is a legitimate defensive player of the year candidate.
What makes him even more unique is his impact on offense. Again, Smart is the last player the Celtics want coming out trying to manufacture points on his own. The Celtics will have the ball in Smart’s hands, but as a play maker.
Finishing is the very last thing the Celtics need from Smart, and that is the first thing most of the top sixth men in the league are offering.
Smart is expected to be the most important player off the bench, but he has to work to hold onto that. Keep in mind, the Celtics have a lot of players that will be looking at that sixth man role. With Smart, you know no one else is going to have the same kind of impact as him, and that is the biggest reason why he will hold onto that sixth man role for the Celtics.
Everyone has seen what a valuable tool Smart is, and to have him coming off the bench helps Brad Stevens accommodate more lineups than anyone else. He is truly vital to what this core wants to do, and solidifies everything they want to do on defense.
Smart plays minutes like a starter, and is always out there when things matter most. Whether or not he gets enough recognition for the award, Smart should easily be the most important sixth man in the NBA next season.
His defense is going to be far too important with so much small ball, and he is going to be ready to give the Celtics the best season of his career. We have seen his versatility to some special things already, and he could become one of the all time great sixth men this game has seen if he keeps things up throughout his contract.