Jimmy Butler thinks Boston Celtics should use Marcus Smart more on offense

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Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler believes that the Boston Celtics should use guard Marcus Smart on offense more after his strong showing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Smart took just seven shots in Game 1, but he made three of them, including two 3-pointers. The former Defensive Player of the Year finished the game with 13 points, one rebound, 11 assists and two steals for Boston.

His passing was extremely important to the team’s success early in the game.

“I think he played well all game long,” Butler said. “He was making all the right plays and they made a lot of shots. He defended incredibly well. Made shots, too. I think they will watch film and see that they probably have to utilize him more. I would.”

In the first half alone, Smart tallied 10 assists for the Celtics, taking just one shot. In the second half, Boston’s offense became a bit more stagnant, allowing Miami to come back into the game in the third quarter.

The Heat rode a major second-half run to a victory on the road in Game 1.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy and what he does on the defensive side of the ball and for sure what he does on the offensive side of the ball, because he plays his role to the T,” Butler said of Smart. “We are going to have to lock in on that. 10 in a half is some pretty good basketball.”

Even with Smart playing at such a high level, the Celtics were unable to pull out the win, partially because Butler hit clutch bucket after clutch bucket down the stretch.

The Heat superstar finished with 35 points, five rebounds, seven assists and six steals in Game 1. He also made two of his four shots from beyond the arc in the game.

It will be interesting to see how the Celtics switch up their game plan in Game 2 to try to avoid falling down 2-0 in the series.

The team may want to take Butler’s advice and run more offense through Smart, especially since he’s played well all postseason. In the playoffs, Smart is averaging 15.6 points and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Smart’s field-goal percentage in the playoffs is his highest since his rookie season when he played in just four postseason games.

The Heat and Celtics will match up in Game 2 on Friday, May 19 at TD Garden in Boston.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.