How frightening is it that the entire season of the Boston Celtics now rests in Marcus Smart's hands? Smart can be brilliant defensively, but in the same breath commit an idiotic foul like we saw in Game 1 at the end of the game. His shooting is subpar to say the least and hasn't really improved all year. Could this be the game he puts it all together? Sure, I guess so. It could also be the game where he melts down and starts flopping all over the place. It could also be the game where he proves that he's just not ready to be a big-time player. However, if he shows up and leads the Celtics to a win, it will shut a lot of the naysayers up.
Brian Scalabrine of CSSNE.com suggested that the Celtics should start Terry Rozier over Smart and constantly rotate players to help stop Hawks' prolific point guard Jeff Teague. Imagine that? The 6th overall pick being passed over for Rozier in a spot like this? It should be that this is Smart's time. This his moment to prove himself and to prove to the NBA that he belongs. However, if he gets a technical foul and can't hit a shot to save his life tonight, the Celtics are screwed. The loss of Avery Bradley is massive, not just on the defensive side of the ball. The fact is that the Celtics really only have one scorer, Isaiah Thomas. When Thomas isn't playing lights out, someone has to step up. It doesn't have to just be Marcus Smart, it could be Amir Johnson or Kelly Olynyk, both of whom were pretty much no-shows in game 1.
Bottom line: If Marcus Smart doesn't play well, the Celtics have zero shot of winning this series. The odds were already pretty slim, but if Smart continues to make awful mistakes this series will be over quickly.