Marcus Smart's Top 5 Performances from the 2019-20 Season

BOSTON – If there is one trend that continues year after year with Marcus Smart, it’s that he consistently improves in all areas of his game. The upward trajectory continued into his sixth season, as the longest-tenured Celtic has shown improvement in both his shooting and playmaking abilities, while also somehow getting even better on the defensive end. Along the way, Smart has delivered an abundance of strong performances, which we have narrowed down to a Top 5. Here are his top individual efforts so far during the 2019-20 campaign.


5. Nov. 11 vs. Dallas

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
36:33 6-9 4-7 1-1 +13 1 0 1 6 1 0 2 1 17

Here's what happened...

Offensively-driven efforts are typically the first that come to mind when thinking about top performances. But since we’re talking about Marcus Smart, it’s only right to throw one of his greatest defensive gems into the mix. One of the first such outings that comes to mind from this season is the role he played in limiting Kristaps Porzingis during Boston’s Nov. 11 matchup against Dallas. Despite standing 11 inches shorter than Porzingis, Smart was able to play a large part in holding the 7-foot-3 former All-Star to four points on a dreadful 1-of-11 shooting effort, marking his worst performances since an 0-for-11 game against Smart and the Celtics on Dec. 21, 2017. The towering forward attempted to post up Smart three times over the course of the game, but failed to score on each occasion. Meanwhile, Smart made a great impact on the other end of the floor as well, as he tallied 17 points and six assists to help Boston to a 116-106 win. But the most memorable part of the matchup was the way in which Smart handled his much-larger opponent, along with the message he delivered to all big men who believe that they can take advantage of a height mismatch against him: “Keep it coming. Plain and simple. Keep it coming.”


4. Feb. 29 vs. Houston

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
44:56 9-22 5-15 3-3 +2 2 3 5 7 4 4 3 0 26

Here's what happened...

As spectacular as Smart’s defense has continued to be throughout the campaign, his offensive leap has been just as impressive. Smart tallied the four highest-scoring games of his career from Jan. 18-onward, including a 26-point effort Feb. 29 at home against the Houston Rockets. Smart made nine field goals, including five from long range, while also logging seven assists, five rebounds and a game-high four steals during a whopping 45 minutes of action. He also made one of the biggest plays of the game just before the end of regulation when he tipped Jayson Tatum’s intentionally-missed free throw out to Jaylen Brown, who then sent the game into overtime with a miraculous 3-point buzzer-beater. Boston went on to lose the game 111-110, while Smart was its only starter to finish with a positive plus/minus rating (plus-2).

3. Feb. 13 vs. LA Clippers

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
45:52 10-20 5-14 6-8 +7 0 4 4 3 4 4 3 0 31

Here's what happened...

The 26-point effort against Houston happened to be Smart’s second straight offensive masterpiece inside TD Garden. On Feb. 13, just before the All-Star break, the guard put forth a 31-point performance, which helped to lead the Celtics to a 141-133 double-overtime win over the LA Clippers. During his 46 minutes of playing time, Smart knocked down 10-of-20 from the field, including five shots from beyond the arc, while also logging four rebounds, three assists and matching LA’s team total in steals with a game high of four. “Any competitor loves coming through for your teammates,” he said after the most thrilling win of the season. “It keeps you going. I love it and I hope it keeps up.” Clearly, it did.


2. Nov. 25 vs. Sacramento

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
36:42 7-12 1-4 2-2 +2 1 2 3 7 1 5 0 1 17

Here's what happened...

Smart’s Nov. 25 outing against the Kings may not have been one of his most remarkable statistical performances of the season, but it was without a doubt his most clutch. Smart managed to deliver not one, not two, but three winning plays over the final 50 seconds of action, which ultimately helped Boston seal a 103-102 win. First, he broke a 99-99 tie on a high-arcing, fadeaway jumper with 49.9 seconds remaining. It only took 10 seconds for Bogdan Bogdanovic to respond with a go-ahead 3-pointer, but Smart punched right back nine seconds later by tossing in a runner off the glass, which would turn out to be the game-winning bucket. But before the final buzzer sounded, he had to put his defensive imprint on the game, which he did just 3.2 seconds later by ripping the ball out of Bogdanovic’s hands to all but secure the one-point win. Smart would finish with 17 points, three rebounds, seven assists, a season-high five steals, and three winning plays during the final minute.


1. Jan. 18 vs. Phoenix

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
33:21 13-25 11-22 0-0 -11 0 5 5 8 4 4 1 0 37

Here's what happened...

Smart has faced a significant amount of criticism for his 3-point shooting over the years, but that was all put to rest Jan. 18. That was the night he penned his name into the Celtics record book by knocking down a franchise record 11 3-pointers, en route to a career-high 37 points. Smart came out firing right away against the Suns, as he pulled up and canned his first triple of the game just nine seconds after tip-off. He would knock down five more treys before halftime, and another five after the break to push him past Ray Allen, Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker, who previously shared the team's single-game record with nine 3-point makes. In all, he attempted 22 shots from beyond the arc – also a franchise mark – and shot 13-of-25 from the field in total. He also tallied team highs in assists (eight) and steals (four), while corralling five rebounds. Despite Smart’s career effort, the Celtics ended up falling to the Suns, 123-119. But years from now, the score and result are not what will be remembered from this game. Smart’s record-breaking 3-point effort will be the only lasting memory from that night inside TD Garden.

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