Yesterday, Ming Wang penned this fabulous piece on Greg Smith, articulating the big man’s progress this year. On one point, however, I disagree:
While Smith lacks even a rudimentary post-game or a spot up jumper, the ability to score as a roll man can pay huge dividends for a team offensively (see Tyson Chandler on the Knicks).
I had actually planned to write on the very topic of Smith’s offensive repertoire last week after noticing a few things during a particular home game, but never got around to it. On one night–my memory on these things really escapes me these days–I distinctly recall Smith facing up his man a few feet out from the basket, turning, and then nailing a turnaround. Later in the same game, he caught it in the post and delivered a baby hook over his left shoulder.
I’m still in search for the word I want to properly describe what I saw from those two moves. I’m not sure one exists. It was just this ‘fluidity’ or ‘flexibility’ that no Rockets big man (save for Luis Scola) has had for some time. Even those words aren’t appropriate.
You know how when Patrick Patterson or Omer Asik make a move, even though they’re moving, it almost seems like their joints won’t move? Seriously. When most bigs nowadays, or at least recent Rockets bigs, have worked in the post, it’s almost looked like there was some sort of medical condition which didn’t allow their wrists to bend. They would/will take hook shots, but it almost appears as if they are just throwing the ball at the basket rather than shooting it.
That’s not the case with Smith. He has that angular ‘bendiness’ to his movements which make things seem so promising. That quality, coupled with his size, makes one really hope that the Rockets make the proper investments into this prospect. As the season progresses, I’d really like to see Smith get one or two reps in the post per game, just to see how he handles it. He’s been up to the task thus far.