Among the training camp clichés that seem never pan out to be true — “we’re going to play faster this year” and “Player X has shot 500 jump shots a day this summer” are our favorites — is this classic from Atlanta:
Josh Smith says he will be better about his shot selection.
This year he says it’s the people around him that will get him to stop launching jumpers, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“You haven’t seen the roster?” Smith turned around a reporter’s question about his long-range shooting plans on a rebuilt Hawks roster. “We’ve got Kyle Korver, Devin Harris, Louis Williams, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Tolliver. Am I missing anyone? Jeff Teague. … So there we go. That answers that question. I didn’t even say my name did I? Call me mid-range shawty.”
Except, he needs to be more selective from the midrange, too.
Last season Smith took 1.6 three pointers a game, down from 2 the season before. He shot 25.5 percent from three last year, so him cutting down on threes would be good.
But he took 6.3 shots per game from 16 feet out to the arc — long twos, the worst shot in basketball. And that was two more than the season before. He hit 37 percent of those twos, which is not a terrible percentage but that is just too many long twos a game to be efficient. Smith has got to get his looks closer in to the rim.
But it’s Josh Smith, I’ll believe he’s only taking and making midrange when I see it.