After a dominating win over Orlando in Boston, the Celtics flew out to Indiana for the 2nd leg of a back to back and their tired legs were on full display in the first half. The Celtics fell behind the Pacers early and Indiana, even without their leading scorer Victor Oladipo, led Boston by 9 at halftime. However, the Celtics were able to get their second wind in the 3rd, scoring 37 in the quarter, and were able to coast to a 108-98 win.
Contrary to Smart's usual shot selection, he opted for a less analytically sound approach and took a lot more mid range jumpers in this game. While that might not be the shot that coach Brad Stevens loves the most, Smart went 5-5 on mid-range jumpers in the game and, if he continues to make them consistently, Brad should have no problem letting Smart operate from the mid-range as opposed to outside the arc.
Because of the big push of analytics in today's NBA, the mid-range jumper has become somewhat of a taboo shot. Shots at the rim are worth just as much and usually have a higher success rate and shots from outside the arc are worth more and if you are a good 3 point shooter it behooves your team for you to take more shots from deep. However, for Smart neither shots inside of from deep have been falling this season.
If Smart's mid-range jumper % is both 1.5x better than his 3-point % and better than his shooting % at the rim, even the most analytically driven NBA minds would tell you it would be best for Smart to continue taking mid-range shots. What comes along with an offense focusing on getting threes and layups is a defense focused on defending threes and layups. This could lead to continued open opportunities for Smart from the mid-range and can hopefully help turn him into a legitimate offense threat, which he hasn't been for most of his NBA career.
Off the bench for the Celtics, Terry Rozier finished with 17 and is now averaging 20 points per game in his last 2 outings. Rozier has been given the keys to run the 2nd unit and while that has led to some wild shooting games to start the season he's starting to hit his stride and is emerging as one of the NBA's most reliable 6th men.
It's hard to imagine Rozier will continue to score at the rate he has in the last 2 games, but if he can come at all close to it he could hear his name coming up in the 6th man of the year conversation before long. Rozier is getting more and more confident every game and with a Celtics offense that is at times desperate for scoring, he's been a godsend. If Rozier continues to be a legitimate scoring threat going forward it only makes the 18-3 Celtics even more dangerous.