Marcus Smart will be the game changer of the NBA Finals this season. His defensive presence has had a lot of impact on the Boston Celtics stopping the small players at his position who can score. The Celtics also carry great offensive potential with their big two duo. The team has the best defensive rating in the league in the post-season and they will be going up against a group with the same score.
The Golden State Warriors from the West division has had tons on experience which could work for them as the series progresses. One of their biggest weapons is Stephen Curry who obviously shoots the three efficiently and erupts on offense. Although they look like the obvious winners of this series, there are numerous factors to look forward to ahead of the matchup.
Marcus Smart says of his ankle injury: "It hurt, but my mom always told me, 'If you’re going to be on the court, you can’t make excuses. If you’re hurt, then sit your tail down.' So if I’m going to be out there, no matter how much pain I’m in, I can’t let it affect me.”— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 1, 2022
Marcus Smart can help stop Stephen Curry during the Finals
Marcus Smart is probably the only defensive threat at the guard position that could give Curry a run for his money. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award with a rating of 104.6 suppressing the oppositions to a league lowest 43.4% shooting from the field. He ranked seventh in league in steals averaging 1.68 per game.
Stephen Curry has shot 33.3% when guarded by Marcus Smart since the 2017/18 season. pic.twitter.com/BXhuoUaqRv— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) May 31, 2022
Curry has averaged 25.9 points along with 4.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game in the playoffs this year. He is the type of player who when heats up, cannot be easily stopped. But statistics prove that Smart works him out. In the last five season, Steph averaged under 25 points per game with 37% shooting from the field and 30% from three.
Shannon Sharpe says Marcus Smart is the key to the Celtics group’s first title
Shannon Sharpe brought out his take on how the games would potentially pan out between the Warriors and Celtics. He said, “They gotta play defense. When you play an offensive team and you beat them at their game… the Boston Celtics need to be what they’ve been in the post season and the regular season, an outstanding defensive team.”
“If you look at what got them in trouble with Miami, turnovers,” said Sharpe. “I believe the Boston Celtics big two is going to give me somewhere between fifty and sixty points in a nightly basis. They’re gonna have to do that. If Marcus Smart can come in there between the three and give me seventy… It’s a wrap,” said Shannon saying that Smart’s contributions on offense could help close out the series quickly.