First, if it’s not already, my quick-hit recap for ESPN should be up here by tomorrow morning. Check it out – just some quick notes on the game.
Forward Greg Smith had four blocks today in his NBA debut. I’m trying to temper my expectations, but I’m excited – the kid looked pretty good in pre-season. Smith is a full-grown 6’10 with a solid, solid base. He’s not like some of these other young bigs that come into the league carrying just skin and bones.
Apart from what you heard above, I spoke to Smith for quite some time off-camera before the game. He is real eager to finally show what he can do. Kevin McHale raved about his IQ in the presser, saying that Smith had been asking him about some of the plays they had learned in camp and whether they would still be running them. That to me, in combination with the enthusiasm with which he spoke about the learning experience in the D-League, is what has me excited. A lot of guys in this league–see Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet–have the raw tools. Few of them have basketball-IQ to match. We’re already seeing Patrick Patterson make a huge impact just based on his court-smarts, even without any standout physical gifts. Smith has both. Let’s see what he can do.