In my opinion, Marcus Smart is one of the biggest X-Factors for that Boston Celtics team.
An emerging Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown are the most talented on the roster, and do the most heavy lifting, but Smart is what truly put that team over the top in the past and currently.
And well, it seems as if Miami may have found their own Marcus Smart in Avery Bradley. There was a bit of uncertainty before the season about what Avery can specifically bring to this Heat team other than perimeter defense, and I’d say his offensive fit has been even more intriguing.
His outside jumper has looked good through the first six games, and he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and control the mid-range. His offensive feel allows him to fit in Miami’s motion offense, since he seems to constantly be in the right place at the right time off of cuts and things of that nature.
Other than Marcus Smart’s better play-making abilities, they bring pretty similar things to their respective teams.
One of the main reasons Miami felt good about playing Milwaukee last season was that their scheme with Jae Crowder worked perfectly against Giannis Antetokounmpo. And I believe they feel the same way this year, but this time against Boston.
Miami has the luxury of putting Avery Bradley on Marcus instead of Goran Dragic, while Goran will still be guarded by Smart. That will open up many opportunities for Avery to make some plays on the offensive side of the ball, which can ultimately be the reason they win the game.
Bradley has a much different role than Smart has with Boston, since Smart has much more weight on his shoulders, but they’re equally important for their respective teams.
Not only will Avery be the X-Factor tonight for Miami, but more importantly in a playoff series if they were to meet in the postseason once again.