Marcus Smart has been off of his game lately. That is overly apparent. So, I did some digging and I have arrived at a reason why. I think I know why Smart is not making those incredible hustle plays, or momentum swingers at all lately.
I kid you not when I say that I noticed this even over a month ago. It is not something I just randomly noticed because he was playing poorly. But we have all been able to see that Smart has been far worse post-trade deadline than prior to.
My theory, simply put, is that Smart has gained weight. Take a look at these two picture. The first being from just earlier this season and the second from this current series.
Now, how does Marcus Smart gaining weight change anything? Well, the answer is quite simple. He is just not comfortable out there. When the Wizards go on a huge run, there is no defensive stopper, or momentum swinger to stop it. Smart used to be that guy. Even in the Chicago series, he only had a few runs that made him look great. Other than that, he has been slower and more delayed than he ever has in his entire career.
The guy has heart, that is for sure. He wins 50/50 balls still. But he just hasn't been as much as he usually does. He is a step late.
You might be reading this in complete disagreement. I don't blame you. But now that it is brought to your attention, you'll see what I am talking about.
For the rest of the season, pay note to his play. Think about the weight, the slowness, the laziness even. You will see what I mean. Again, he'll make tons of plays...but there is something off about him. There is a reason he is not making EVERY play like we are used to. I think it is his weight.