The Marcus Smart Effect Was In Full…Effect Versus The Bucks

By Matt Esposito

Well, I never claimed to be good at titling articles. Either that or I clearly had an Austin Powers movie on in the background while I was writing this. Perhaps this is why The Playgrounder just hired a new editor, Nick Trizzino. Regardless, I’m sneaking this one past him because I’m too darn excited to write about Marcus Smart.

Or should I say, Marcus “Brilliant?” Now that I’ve expended all corniness, it has become time to delineate why he is the subject of today’s blog. Last night the Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a 17-2 lead on the Celtics. Barf. By the time Smart checked in they fought back to make it a 20-9 lead. Then, the Smart Effect took place.

Future Celtics videographer and current GOAT Tomek Kordylewski provided the instant break down of Smart’s performance. Before I break down the…break down (crap, did it again!) I will drop the full video below. Watch it and follow Tomek by clicking on that shiny, blue link.

(Q1 5:58) – Defending Middleton Before Hitting A Pull-Up 3-Pointer

I’ll move in chronological order of play to examine how Smart completely altered the feel of the game. The first play of note came against Khris Middleton. Middleton, a nightmarish figure for Cs diehards, received a lengthy arm in front of his face that forced an airball. Guess what happened next? Yup, my title ruined it. Smart in all of his glorious confidence nailed a transition triple.

(Q1 4:43) – Steal And Fastbreak Bucket

Don’t dribble around Marcus Smart. Just stay in a triple threat and whisper a prayer. Unfortunately, God wasn’t listening to Sterling Brown last night; he was overwhelmed with all the requests from G.O.P congressman to fix gun control.

But who needs divinity when you have a 6-foot-4, Homeric demigod who once played pickup with Achilles and Ajax? Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this play is not simply the steal but the way Smart jumped from the free throw line to hit a layup. Watch and enjoy, folks.


By that time, the Cs had cut the lead deficit to four (25-21) with more than four minutes remaining in the quarter. In a span of about three minutes Marcus Smart ignited his team and quickly cut down an 11 point lead. He continued to make plays in the second quarter as well.

(Q2 9:13) – Catching The Bucks Asleep, Perfect Lob To Theis

Well, at least almost every Buck was sleeping. Donte DeVincenzo told his teammates to watch out for a cutting Daniel Theis. Alas, they did and not and Smart tossed an exquisitely placed lob pass. This play cut the lead back down to five and kept the Cs within striking distance; a notable feat when considering their first quarter deficit.

(Q3 3:02) – Back-To-Back Possessions, Tip-In Then And-1

It’s time for a cold shower. The only thing we love more than a sell-out, nosefortheball tip in by Marcus Smart is when he converts a steal for an And-1. Luckily for me, he did both on back-to-back possessions for the Celtics and ended up tying the game. I had to pull these clips from a source other than Tomek but ssshhhh, we won’t tell him that.

(Q4 9:28) – A Gusty Pull-Up Triple After A Killer Move

Did I ignore Smart’s third quarter triple that gave Boston its first lead? Yes. Why? His 4th quarter triple might have been more important.

Milwaukee started the period by reminding everyone why they were the best team during the regular season. They were threatening to pull away for good. Naturally, it was time for a “No, no no…yes!” 3-pointer from the streaky Smart. This massive shot ensured that this game would remain winnable for Boston for the rest of the final stanza.

Alright, time to put my homerism aside. The Celtics have some issues going forward. Will Kemba be healthy? Can Brad Wanamaker play every game like he did last night and fix their bench woes? Will Brad Stevens exchange Enes Kanter for Robert Williams?

The answers to those questions are unclear. Yet, NBA fans everywhere should be rooting for a Boston-Milwaukee matchup. Stevens has the smarts (no pun intended) to challenge Giannis. Plus, last night’s game was just freaking fun to watch!

Published by Matt Esposito

Founder/Writer for Theplaygrounder.com and contributor to Red’s Army Twitter: @Mattesposito_

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