Marcus’ Not-So-Smart Analysis

Celtics guard Marcus Smart attributes the team’s sluggish start to stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown “not wanting to pass the ball” — but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

As a defensive specialist and the longest-tenured Celtic, Smart should know better than anyone that Boston’s issues stem from defense.

After allowing 128 points to the Bulls in their latest defeat, the Celtics’ 2-5 start is their worst through seven games since the 2006-07 season when they finished 24-58.

  • The Celtics have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league (110.3).
  • They’re allowing the most PPG (119.7) and RPG (52.3).
  • They’ve allowed 115+ points in six of seven games this season — the lowly Rockets scored 97.
  • Last night, Boston became the first team in the shot-clock era (1954) to lose by 14+ points after leading by 14+ points entering the final 12 minutes.

Smart signed a four-year extension this offseason worth up to $77 million, but he isn’t contributing much on the offensive end.

For someone who wants the ball, he’s shooting just 29.3% from the field and 28.2% from three.

It’s a troubling sign for the future of a trio that had Boston two wins away from making the NBA Finals two seasons back.