My logic previously was two-fold:
1. It would be difficult for the Pistons to space the floor with Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the lineup. One way to create space would be for one of those bigs to drift to the perimeter, and Smith was best suited for that role.
2. If shooting from perimeter, Smith was much better off taking three-pointers rather than long 2s. He makes both types of shots at similar clips, but considering threes are worth 50% more points per make, they’re much preferred.
To his credit, Smith has aced that second point. After just 41% of his perimeter shots were three-pointers last season, 72% are this season. That’s a fantastic improvement.
But shooting more from the perimeter because it’s necessary to coexist with Monroe and Drummond has proved trickier.
With a conventional lineup featuring Smith at power forward, he should rarely shoot from the perimeter. He’s not very good at it but is a strong finisher near the basket. Typically, getting looks in the paint should be his focus.
My three-point plan for Smith came purely from necessity to facilitate Joe Dumars’ mad-scientist frontcourt.
But Smith is not taking his three-pointers because he’s playing with Monroe and Drummond.
Despite playing just 43% of his minutes without the Monroe-Drummond combo, Smith has taken 53% of his three-pointers during those stretches, according to nbawowy.
No, Josh, no.