In the first half and the start of the third quarter, Atlanta’s Josh Smith was firing away jump shots — and he was 0-for-6 from beyond 16 feet. He made up for that with four turnovers.
All that frustrated coach Larry Drew, who saw that as playing into the hands of the Bulls defense, he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“I want him flying all over the place,” Drew said. “I don’t want him sitting out there just shooting jump shots and trying to make plays off the dribble.”
Drew is right. Completely. We have just one little question:
Now you’re mad about this? Where was this anger during the season?
This season Smith averaged 6.3 shots a game beyond 16 feet and 5.9 at the rim (via Hoopdata). For the record, Smith shot 68.9 percent at the rim, 39 percent from 16 feet out to the arc and 33.1 percent from three.
Smith has killed the Hawks offense with jump shots all season — he has defied Drew’s motion offense and shot more long balls per game than he has at any other point is his career.
And now Drew is mad? He needed to curb this behavior long ago.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.