The Boston Celtics put together quite a dominant 2021-22 NBA campaign. The only thing they failed to accomplish was winning a title. Coming up short on the biggest stage against the Golden State Warriors will linger around the team for the entire offseason.
While the main members of Boston’s rotation will all be returning for the upcoming season, that doesn’t mean this team will stay idle and make no moves this offseason. They already have many excellent pieces in place; this offseason will be about bringing in the final one or two players to shore up the rotation for another lengthy postseason run next season.
Smart believes the Celtics don’t need to add another point guard this offseason
One of the Celtics’ biggest needs this offseason will be adding more playmaking to their team. They turned the ball over at an absurd rate throughout the playoffs, and too often, their offense struggled to get off the ground. Having that initiator on offense would help open things up for stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown when the offense goes cold.
Marcus Smart was handed the keys to the offense as the team’s starting point guard for the first time in his career this season, and he led the C’s to the Finals. But cries for a true point guard remain prevalent in Boston. While Smart had a great first season in his new role, he still experiences bouts of maddening offense. This involves turning the ball over and taking ridiculous shots that rarely go in.
The Celtics could use another initiator off their bench, but Smart believes that the Celtics already have their answer on offense, and that would be him. Smart notes that Boston has had “true” point guards suit up for them before, but it wasn’t until he became the point guard that the C’s made it to the Finals.
“I hear the talks about ‘He’s not a true point guard’ and this and that. ‘They need a star point guard.’ We’ve had star point guards, and yet this so-called non-point guard is the only one that’s led them to the Finals.” - Marcus Smart, Boston Globe
Smart has a point, but the Celtics still need some help
Smart raises a very good point here. Guys like Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker were all brought in to lead the Celtics to the Finals, but they all failed. Granted, there were different circumstances regarding each of their tenures in Boston, but Smart’s point is accurate.
The problem is that Smart is also incorrect in asserting himself as the “leader” of the offense. Tatum or Brown would often initiate the offense as much as Smart did, despite both being wing players. That playmaking component is still necessary on this offense, and when the Celtics needed Smart to pick them up in the Finals, he fell flat on his face.
Boston may not need someone to replace Smart as the team’s starting point guard, but it’s not as if he should be a complete lock to hold onto the position heading into next season. If the Celtics’ front office could find a potential upgrade (say, Dejounte Murray, for example), they would be foolish to pass up that opportunity.
The more likely scenario involves Smart holding onto the position while the Celtics add another playmaker to the bench. Somebody like Ricky Rubio, who is a natural pass-first guard, could come off the bench and help initiate the offense when it needs a boost. Smart is right to believe that some of the rumors surrounding his name are disrespectful, but he is giving himself a bit more credit than he deserves. If he thinks the Celtics will stand pat this offseason just because they made it to the Finals, he’s in for a rude awakening.