The shooting guard position is one of the high expectations for Celtics fans, as it contains two players whose performances are highly decisive in winning games.
Jaylen Brown, who had a breakout year last season and Marcus Smart, one of the most interesting players in the NBA. More on that later; for now, let’s get right into the projections:
Starter: Jaylen Brown / Projection: 13.3 PPG, 2.5 APG, 4.7 RPG, 29.8 PER
If Brown’s jump in production from his first year to his second is any indication of what’s to come, you could call me crazy for not predicting a huge change in performance from a statistics point of view.
Unfortunately, with the return of Gordon Hayward and rise of Jayson Tatum, Brown will likely be forced towards the end of weapons utilized on offense.
Don’t get me wrong, having an athletic, lethal weapon like Brown being one of the lesser-used starters is an incredibly spoiled problem to have. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward will still have his fair share of high-flying highlight plays and will be crucial in jump-starting the offense when it gets cold.
Backup: Marcus Smart / Projection: 9.5 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 23.2 PER
Where does one even begin with Marcus Smart? Either you love him or you hate him, but everyone can agree he brings a lot to the table. Smart is one of the only players in the NBA that could go 0-for-10 from the field and still end the night with a positive plus/minus.
His hustle and ability to lock down multiple positions are just that impactful, but it can come with some drawbacks. The collective groan from fans when he continues to fire away three-pointers is probably the main complaint, but those all go away when the 6-foot-4 combo guard wins games like this.
Marcus Smart…. We dont appreciate you enough an I apologize ☘️pic.twitter.com/7xLnfuCCqt
— CELTICS NATION ☘️ (@CelticsNation5) December 29, 2017
TNT commentator Chris Webber explained the situation perfectly.
“Offense did not do this for the Celtics—defense, the guys off the bench for the Celtics, got them engaged defensively,” Webber said.
That is the epitome of what we have learned to expect out of the Oklahoma State University product, and that is what we will continue to get.
Third off the bench: Jabari Bird / Projection: 3.5 PPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 RPG, 9.4 PER
Despite Jabari Bird turning heads in this years NBA Summer League, he will have to continue riding the bench and waiting for his chance to play meaningful minutes in the NBA.
That tends to happen when you are a decent player on a star-studded roster, but it doesn’t mean Bird’s career will remain hidden in the shadows forever. There is still plenty of time for the 24-year-old to figure it out with another team, or see if general manager Danny Ainge makes roster changes that would allow Bird to move up on the Totem pole.