Is Marcus Smart a cross between James Harden and Paul George?
The Boston Celtics think Marcus Smart is their franchise point guard, and this season expectations are high. The second-year floor general needs to show that his game is developing at a noticeable rate, that he can run an effective pick-and-roll, exhibit smarter shot selection and get to the rim more consistently than he did as a rookie.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, Smart's projections are quite optimistic. Here's a further look:
Two of his top player comparisons are James Harden and Paul George. That's nothing to sneeze at, and if things go like they think it will, there's a good chance Boston permanently pulls Smart off the trade market.
You had Celtics fans at James Harden, CARMELO (and Paul George isn’t a comp Boston fans will sneeze at, either). OK, so Marcus Smart’s encouraging projections probably aren’t enough for Ainge to call off the hunt for an elite talent, but Smart, the No. 6 pick in the 2014 draft, is clearly Boston’s best hope for a homegrown star. He’s already a defensive menace, the question is whether he can confidently run an NBA offense.