Danny Ainge loves Marcus Smart's fearlessness - even when missing all the threes

From the NBA Newswire at 985TheSportsHub.com

Marcus Smart can be a frustrating player to watch when he's shooting the ball from deep. Sometimes he'll have a night like he did on Wednesday against the Pistons (4-for-9 from three-point range), and other times he'll go through the ice age like his recent 0-for-20 streak from downtown.

Ask Danny Ainge, and he'll tell you it's all part of the guard's appeal.

"It’s what we love about Marcus - he’s just fearless," said Ainge in his weekly interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich on Thursday. "Sometimes he gets out of hand, but I really appreciate his determination and his grit. Come hell or high water, he’s going to keep shooting that shot."

The half-joking comment drew some laughs. But it's true: Smart really is just going to keep shooting.

Jan 19, 2019; Atlanta, GA: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at State Farm Arena. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 19, 2019; Atlanta, GA: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at State Farm Arena. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Ainge sounds like he's willing to put up with Smart's streakiness and spotty shot selection because of all the other little things he does to make the Celtics better. But the C's president of basketball ops acknowledged that while he wants Smart to keep shooting, he can go too far in the wrong direction and could stand to be more consistent.

"For us to be a great team, Marcus needs to make shots," Ainge continued. "At the same time, he does so many other things on the court that if he’s not making shots, he can still contribute. But if he’s not making shots and he keeps shooting lots of shots, then that’s not good."

Overall, Smart is 90-for-251 (35.9 percent) from three-point range so far in the 2018-19 season. It's the best rate of his career so far, but still unimpressive from a league standpoint. He's eighth on the team (minimum 27 games) in three-point percentage, despite taking the third-most attempts.

But Ainge certainly seems willing to take those occasional lumps if Smart keeps delivering on the court in other ways.

Listen above for the full interview!

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