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CelticsBlog roundtable: who joins Kyrie Irving in the back court?

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With Avery Bradley in Detroit, Brad Stevens needs a new shooting guard.

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Jeff Clark: I'm in favor of starting Marcus Smart, at least early in the season. His talent on the defensive side of the ball is needed next to Kyrie Irving and his limitations (mostly shooting) are compensated by having 2 elite scorers next to him. He also brings a lot of intangibles and hustle plays to the table which will only enhance the stars around him. I like Brown long-term, and I can see some value in Smart coming off the bench, but until Jaylen develops more, I think Smart is the better starter for now.

Greg Cassoli: I lean towards Jaylen Brown, partially because I think he could be a very good defensive player as soon as this year, and partially because I like the idea of keeping Marcus Smart on the bench to run the second unit. If Terry Rozier can take a significant step forward, and fill that role more consistently, or if Shane Larkin proves capable enough to fill those minutes, then the appeal of Smart as a starter may shift for me.

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Matthew Chin: I'm on the Jaylen Brown bandwagon. I've grown to love Marcus Smart in the backup point guard role. He brings energy and playmaking that can't be replicated by Terry Rozier or Shane Larkin. Jaylen showed in summer league that his spot up shooting has dramatically improved. I'm confident that he can develop a reliable off ball scoring game, much like Avery Bradley did over the years. I like his chances to grow as a player if he's unleashed in a defensive minded role where he can focus primarily on locking down the opposing team's best guard. Then he can leave the offensive burden to Irving, Hayward, and Horford.

Andrew Doxy: I'm firmly on the Start Smart train. His skill set opens up the offense to include several other methods of attack, and having him instead of Jaylen Brown assures that the defense will not take a massive hit from the opening tip. Having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both as off-ball threats with Horford's spacing in some sets will be deadly, and you can still stagger Irving/Smart/Hayward to help out with bench playmaking. I understand that people say that Smart will still play a lot with the starters, but as we saw against Chicago, getting off to a good start against good teams is imperative.

Michael DePrisco: Jaylen Brown. With the three primary playmakers in Irving, Hayward, and Horford, I think Brown's skills would be maximized more than Smart next to those players. Brown is probably the better off-ball player, so I'd be more comfortable with Smart being the primary ball handler off the bench, and having Brown take advantage of opportunities off of spot ups, cuts, and driving past close outs. Smart is definitely the better defender, but I don't think the drop off to Brown is significant enough to potentially marginalize both players on offense.

Poll

Who should start in the backcourt?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Marcus Smart
    (362 votes)
  • 70%
    Jaylen Brown
    (964 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (36 votes)
1362 votes total Vote Now