Marcus Smart’s three-point shooting woes persist
Across the opening three games of this series, Smart was not only Boston’s best all-around player but their most accurate three-point sniper as well. He converted 13 of his 24 treys heading into Game 4, a 54.1% clip on eight attempts per contest. It was wishful thinking that Smart would replicate his efficiency and usage from downtown for the series’s entirety. But Smart’s accuracy hasn’t taken merely a slight dip since Game 3. It has plummeted.
For perspective on the extent of Smart’s fall from grace in long-range effectiveness, he’s only 3-for-18 in Games 4 and 5 thus far. It appears at this juncture that Smart is in his head, as the majority of his recent threes have been looks that he ordinarily takes with confidence — they simply haven’t fallen. The Celtics could use a scoring punch from Smart tonight, yet unfortunately, he hasn’t delivered in the points department. Smart enters the halftime locker room with five points on 2-for-11 shooting.
Jabari Parker gave the C’s a boost in the second quarter
Parker has received sporadic minutes throughout this series. But with the Celtics in need of buckets, Brad Stevens turned to the former Duke standout early in quarter two, who answered the call off the pine. Parker dropped a smooth 11 points in nine minutes and had a diverse shot chart. This included a 23-foot three-pointer, a pair of mid-range jumpers, and a point-blank layup. Not to mention he earned a trip to the line, attempting two free throws and hitting both.
Coach Stevens couldn’t have asked for much more from Parker in the first half. Parker leads the Celtics in scoring despite playing fewer minutes than the starters and even some reserves. He buoyed Boston’s offensive attack when Tatum was taking a breather and is as responsible for the team remaining within striking distance as any Celtic. Parker is likely to see additional court time in the second half. He has certainly earned it thanks to his second-quarter brilliance.