Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Smith continues to find the range
By Greg Payne
LAS VEGAS -- Celtics guard Jamar Smith came through with another productive offensive night on Tuesday, putting in 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point nation, in Boston's 79-74 victory over the Chicago Bulls in the second game of their Las Vegas Summer League slate.
Jamar Smith followed up a 10-point game on Monday with an 11-point effort Tuesday against the Bulls.
Smith, who knocked in two 3-pointers among his 10 points in Monday's 87-69 victory over the Hawks, finally might be operating with some peace of mind, as he confirmed after Tuesday's win that he's earned an official invite to Celtics training camp in the fall. Smith said his invite was secured after the Celtics' fourth game of last week's Orlando Summer League.
Smith averaged 9.2 points over five games in Orlando, shooting 45 percent from 3-point land, and through two games in Vegas, he's showing no signs of taking his finger off the trigger. Smith is averaging 10.5 points and continues to shoot well from deep, as he's connected on 50 percent of his 3-point attempts.
"I've got good scorers on my team," Smith said. "Pretty much everybody on our roster can score, so whenever we're all in the game, everybody's looking for shots and we've got people who can create too, so my teammates give me good looks. I've just got the job of trying to knock them down."
While the training camp invite gives Smith a bit more security moving forward, he acknowledged that now isn't the time to ease back on the aggressiveness. He's taking shots when they're available, but more importantly, he's doing his best to make sure they're the best shots possible.
"You have to be conscious that the shots that you're taking are good shots," Smith said. "Anybody can shoot. You can shoot from halfcourt. But the thing on our team that I like, I feel like everybody takes bad shots sometimes. We take a couple a game, but for the most part, we all get good shots."
The Celtics and Bulls traded baskets for the majority of the first quarter, but Smith helped the Celtics pull away in the final minute. With just more than 30 seconds remaining in the opening frame he buried his first 3-pointer from the right wing, and followed it up with a tough fadeaway jumper at the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 23-18 advantage heading into the second quarter. Smith buried two more threes in the second frame, with the second coming in the final minute, upping Boston's lead to 51-32.
"He can shoot the ball. I get mad when he turns down shots," C's Summer League coach Tyronn Lue said. "If you turn down another shot, you're done for the rest of the summer league. But every time he shoots, I think it's good. He's got a nice stroke, a great stroke. He's been playing very well for us. Even in games that were close, he's made big shots. He's made big shots to give us a bit of momentum when teams are making runs."