Detroit Pistons’ forward Josh Smith is capable of being an excellent player but has been plagued by inconsistency and poor decision making throughout his career.
Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders believes new Pistons’ head coach and president Stan Van Gundy has a chance to maximize Smith’s talent.
Smith currently holds the crown, arguably, for the most talented player in the league without an All-Star selection on the resume. But even the most die-hard Smith supporter would have trouble arguing his first season in Detroit was anything but a disaster. The Pistons signed Smith to a four-year, $54 million deal in free agency last summer but played him out of position, at small forward, due to the presence of young bigs Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. The experiment was far from a success with Smith ultimately shooting a career low 42 percent from the floor and a woeful 26 percent from three-point range. Newly crowned head coach Stan Van Gundy will now take on the task of trying to fully maximize Smith’s unique skillset and make the forward more efficient. Many have tried, many have failed. Still, Smith is still young enough and in a solid position to silence some of his doubters next season. Let’s see if he gets it done – finally.
There’s no denying Smith’s talent and if Van Gundy can turn him into a more efficient player, he could finally make that all-star team.
Smith averaged 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 41.9% from the field, 26.4% from three and 53.2% from the charity stripe last season. In his 10-year NBA career (he spent his first nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, who selected him with the 17th-overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft), he has averaged 15.5 point, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 45.9% from the floor, 27.9% from three and 64.3% from the charity stripe.
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