The Detroit Pistons lost a close game to the Boston Celtics last night, but if Killian Hayes was paying attention, he should be able to take something away from the loss.
If you just looked at the statistics, you wouldn’t say Marcus Smart had a great game, but if you actually watched the game, it was clear that he was one of the keys to Boston’s win.
After having a big first quarter, Smart didn’t notch another statistic until the 4th, but he was arguably the Celtics’ most important player down the stretch and gave Killian Hayes a lesson in how to affect a game without scoring.
Smart ended the game with seven points on just 2-of-7 shooting, but chipped in four rebounds and seven assists without committing a single turnover.
As a big guard who is not lightning fast or a dynamic scorer, Marcus Smart provides the perfect model for Killian Hayes to follow.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes can make an impact with defense and passing
Marcus Smart is a mainstay on the All-Defense team for a reason, he can defend all over the floor and give his team advantages.
He guarded just about everyone last night, from Killian Hayes to Isaiah Stewart, grabbing three steals and making life miserable for whoever he was on.
His ability to defend up allowed the Celtics to go small with Payton Pritchard, which turned the momentum of the game in the second half.
Even though Smart was not scoring much, he was setting up teammates in the 4th quarter, which is what ultimately led to the Celtics pulling away.
Of course, Smart is surrounded by two of the best wings in the game, but he shows how complementary players can help their stars.
Killian Hayes may not ultimately be a star in the NBA, but he can be a guy who wins games with his defense and passing, so I hope he is home right now watching film of Marcus Smart, who has given him a roadmap for how to succeed in the NBA without scoring.