Marcus Smart works on his shot selection

As the Celtics succumbed to a deep freeze in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, one of the parting images was of Marcus Smart firing mostly blanks.
The Celtics guard shot 3-for-9 in Game 6, and sparked some groans as recently as the Celtics’ Friday exhibition loss to Brooklyn, when he shot 3-for-11, including 1-for-6 from 3-point range.
Smart now admits that shot selection is one of his points of emphasis this season.
“Cause when I take great shots, I’m a great shooter,” he said following Monday’s practice.
“For me, my shot selection, just really, really focusing more on it,” said Smart. “If I’m open I’m definitely shooting the ball. My teammates, the coaches staff, you know definitely told me catch and shoot, if you’re open, shoot it. Definitely, I averaged 4.8 assists in a bubble, one of the highest on the team, and I’m just going to continue to keep making plays for others, and creating for myself, but definitely running the show as a point guard and finding those guys.”
This point was amplified by Brad Stevens, who talked up Smart’s playmaking role, especially in the absence of Kemba Walker.
“Me, coming into this year, definitely with Kemba being out to start, is definitely tough on our team because he’s such a great player he brings so much to this team,” said Smart. “But we have other guys out here who work just as hard, who’ve been working to grasp their moment, and step on the court and give this team, some energy and some insight to see what we can do to help the team. So it definitely sucks having Kemba out but it just means everybody has to step up.”
Coach E.T.
Evan Turner was an assistant coach on the Ohio State alumni team that won The Basketball Tournament (TBT) championship last summer. It follows, then, that the Celtics’ newest assistant has a missing ingredient.
“Brad knows. He knows I’ve got a little bit of luck left in the tank,” the former Celtic, who retired from playing after finishing last season with the Hawks, said after practice.
“So he’s trying to take it and get him two or three ’ships, you know what I’m saying? So he knows I have a great basketball mind. He knows I have a great basketball energy. You know, his first playoff appearance was when No. 11 was on the court. Now No. 11’s on the bench — not Payton Pritchard, me. Behind the bench, like, far behind the bench. Now I think we can make it or take it deep into July every year.”
Seriously, though, Turner can’t see himself coaching anywhere besides on the staff of Stevens, and in the proximity of Brady, Stevens’ son. Turner befriended both long ago.
“Everybody knows I’ve been super fond of Brad and my guy Brady,” said Turner. “One thing, I trust the hell out of Brad. When it came to trusting and leaving things up in the air with basketball – I left and my last situation wasn’t ideal – trusting Brad to guide me and learn from him, it was an easy situation and transition. I thought it was the best situation for me. That’s what I was looking forward to. He’s given me space to learn and the comfort level to learn as well. And make mistakes.”
The result has also been predictable.
“It’s been an earful. Nah, it’s been great having Evan here,” said Smart. “We’re talking about a guy who had a decent career here in the league, and just a really overall guy, his work ethic, he knows the game, his IQ, and just for him to be able to come back here and really give that knowledge that he has learned over his career, and continue to learn to us and these younger guys that we have here is a blessing. You don’t get to see that very often. And I know everybody here is appreciative of it, and we’re thankful to have him.”
Thompson’s timetable
There’s still not a target date for Tristan Thompson’s return from hamstring trouble, but the veteran forward had another good day of practice — only his second with the team.
“We will see. He practiced today and looked good,” said Stevens. “He hasn’t played in nine months prior to these last two practices so obviously we’ll follow the lead of our medical team and get Tristan’s feedback and see how it goes.”

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