Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart demonstrating new-found control
25 points, 11 boards and 3 dimes for @FHCWPO last night. It's such a joy watching him attack the paint. Two words about him this year: in control.— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) November 12, 2019
Full highlights vs Mavs: https://t.co/bMsvTqR6nW pic.twitter.com/rOWWDGtx7K
Despite a boost in minutes over last season, Brown is averaging slightly fewer turnovers. And even his imperfect free throw shooting is a season-high 77% for 2019-20. He has developed a stutter-step and better use of his left hand. He controls the ball, his body - and often the game.
Marcus Smart leads the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio for players logging more than 24 minutes per game. His number shows only one turnover for every 5.25 assists. Add that stat to his defensive resume!https://t.co/hkEe8hyc5u pic.twitter.com/hUKf91nK7C— Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) November 12, 2019
Similar to Jaylen, Smart's minutes have seen an uptick (30.8 MPG, up from 27.5 last season), but his turnovers are down - from 1.5 TOPG last season to 0.9 this year. For players logging more than 24 minutes/game, he leads the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio. He only turns the ball over once for every 5.25 assists he hands out. That is control.
Marcus' field goal percentage thus far this season stands at 40% - not good, but acceptable - for him. He no longer chucks up a lot of disparate 3-pointers, and his accuracy from beyond the arc is a decent 37%. On the defensive side, he is far from reckless. His fouls per game have seen only a slight uptick from last season, going from 2.5 fouls per game to 2.6 - which can be accounted for by his increased minutes.
The control we see in Brown and Smart shows maturity and seasoning. That comes in handy in the post-season. There is a lesson here for fans that did not envision Marcus as an effective point guard or Jaylen as a rising star. The Celtics are atop the NBA with an 8-1 record for a number of reasons, the improved control of Brown and Smart being one of them.
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