What is the No. 1 thing Josh Smith can do to step up and help the Pistons make the playoffs?
Shoot more 3-pointers
Shoot all the 3s you’d like as long as you lock people down on D
Smith is a fringe All-Star who, if he fixes a couple of nagging elements in his game, would be a perennial All-Star. Because those weaknesses – shooting too many perimeter shots, especially long 2s – are so noticeable, people tend to dwell on what he isn’t and forget that, hey, fringe All-Star is still really really good. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Smith’s game to change all that much at this point. But if he’s committed on the other end, he could lead what has the potential to be a very stingy Pistons defense.
Be the No. 1 offensive player
When Brandon Knight, Jose Calderon or Rodney Stuckey couldn’t feed the ball inside to Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond last season, the Pistons offense stalled. With a lack of shot creators, there was no real easy way to score. This offseason, the Pistons added a few shot creators, primarily Smith, who was the biggest offensive option in Atlanta. He should be here, too. Smith tends to hang around the perimeter and jack 3-pointers, but he cannot do that this year. He must not only be the No. 1 offensive option, but use only the skills that show why he’s deserving of that role.
Play like it is 2009-10
That was Smith’s best season, by far. He didn’t hang out and shoot 3-pointers and didn’t turn the ball over a ton. He just played within himself. Smith is probably going to be forced into some 3-pointers if he’s playing small forward this season, but that doesn’t mean he needs to hoist two a game. He’s one of the NBA’s most underrated passers, too. It’d be huge for the Pistons to get four assists a night from Smith.
Tags: Josh Smith