Marcus Smart has evolved into a legitimate 3-point threat, and we have proof

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

First impressions can be hard to shake, and Marcus Smart made a pretty bad one.

The Boston Celtics guard shot 25.3 percent from 3-point range during the 2015-16 season, his second in the NBA. After "improving" his 3-point percentage to 28.3 the following season, Smart solidified a reputation as an inaccurate chucker who induced cringes with every attempted deep ball.

Cringe no more, Celtics fans. It's time to retire the narrative that Smart can't shoot threes.

Below is a bar graph -- produced with help from "Boston Sports Info" on Twitter -- that charts Smart's 3-point shooting percentages over the last seasons.

Notice a trend?

smart_3pt_111219.png

Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart

Smart has improved his 3-point percentage in each of the last seasons and is shooting at a 37.3 percent clip from distance this season, thanks in part to his 4-for-7 effort Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

That's actually a few ticks above the NBA average, which sits at 35 percent as of Tuesday morning.

If you want a larger sample size, Smart is shooting 36.5 percent from three (148 for 405) since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. Here's a list of players who have a worse 3-point percentage in that same span, courtesy of Boston Sports Info:

smart_threes.jpg

Smart threes
Smart threes

Smart has fewer attempts than anyone on this list, which helps his percentage.

But we told you five years ago that Marcus Smart would become a more accurate 3-point shooter than Kemba Walker, James Harden and Devin Booker, you would have laughed us out of the room.

Judging by Monday night, it appears his opponents aren't ready to let the old narrative die.

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Marcus Smart has evolved into a legitimate 3-point threat, and we have proof originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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