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Josh Smith bulks up, he says to play inside more. Riiiiiight.

Sep 3, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

Josh Smith AP

Last season was like every other one with Josh Smith, the only difference was he was wearing a Pistons uniform instead of a Hawks one. I could break down the numbers for you on why he needs to play closer to the basket, but I think this visual representation works better to explain my point. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Josh Smith’s shot chart from last season.


For the record 44.5 percent of Smith’s shot attempts came from beyond 16 feet — he loves the long two and the above the arc three. He just can’t hit those shots. He’s a beast in close but fancies himself a stretch four.

It has been that way for years despite annual promises things will be different. So understand my skepticism when Smith told the Pistons’ official Web site he has bulked up so he can play inside more this season.

“I’m ready to play whatever position is asked of me,” said Smith, noticeably thicker in the chest and shoulders, in his first day back at the Pistons practice facility on Tuesday. “But I’m going to play a lot of (power forward) and that was my main focus on being able to get more in the weight room and put some more muscle on my body to be able to withstand that physicality in the paint. I played that position so much, so long in the league that I know how big you have to be in order to be able, night in and night out, to withstand that impact and that physical nature inside the paint.”

If Van Gundy can get Smith to play closer to the basket, he should get votes for coach of the year. It would be a big help for the Pistons’ offensive efficiency — let Jodie Meeks, Caron Butler and the other guards (except you, Brandon Jennings) shoot the threes.

Of course, if Smith starts playing closer to the basket as he should then you get into the spacing issues of having him, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe all on the court at the same time. None of them can space the floor, which makes the Pistons much easier to defend. Which is why Smith’s natural inclination to step out and space the floor with his jumper kicks in, except for the whole “he can’t make that” problem.

How does Smith — a good passer — see himself being used?

“Being able to play in the mid-range and attacking,” Smith said of his likeliest role. “If somebody comes over to help out, I’ll be able to find the open man and I’m very confident that those players are going to knock shots down because they’ve proven it their whole careers.”


If Smith is in the midrange he’s not going to see doubles, he will get a lot of open looks from opposing defense. They want him to take that shot.

SVG’s got his work cut out for him.

  1. succulentnipples - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Big John Football is bulking up.

    • duhwighthoward - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      I wonder what someone could comment that would get you so fired up that you made a comment out of character.

  2. mortalkondek - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I would like to think that this is true. I would like to think that Stan The Man would bench his @$$ after two too many ill advised threes. Just pour me a glass of that Piston Blue Kool Aid already.

  3. bobulated - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    You wonder what he might have been if he had just dedicated his amazing athleticism and skills to being a dominant low post scorer and ferocious re-bounder.

  4. tigers182 - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    He hired Nick Fairley’s chef to get in shape.

    • avb300 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      He hired Ricky Rubio’s shooting coach.

      • sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        other way around… Josh is older and Ricky hired Josh’s shooting coach…

        Josh was clanking them off the rims before Ricky was playing in the league…

      • avb300 - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        WAS clanking? 2013-14 was a masterpiece of clanking. His FTs got worse too so I said Rubio cuz he can’t shoot either lol.

  5. avb300 - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Who’s dumber – Josh Smith for shooting so many 3s at a horrible clip or Mo Cheeks for letting him.

    Mo Cheeks. Stan will change things in Detroit.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Atlanta’s coach let him jack up three’s for a long time too…

  6. duhwighthoward - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    It’s probably all just fat. Do you know how hard it is for someone over the age of 30 to add 15 pounds of muscles in three months?

    • mortalkondek - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM


      • asimonetti88 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        And yet people on here seem to think Pacquiao is natural.

    • bougin89 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      It’s not nearly as hard for professional athletes with the wealth of supplements out there, a training staff that could work around the clock with you, and the whole “you’re paid to workout/play basketball” thing.

      Now the average male that works 40-50 hours a week with a family and any other time constraining factors, yeah it would be tough to add 15 lbs of muscle in 3 months. Very tough.

      • 2drunk2dunk - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        agreed. for an average person it’s hard to put on 1 lb per week, but these are genetically superior athletes (Smith in particular) that are much taller (greater surface area for muscle to grow)

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Antoine Walker 2.0

    Walker was once asked why he shoots so many 3-pointers. He said, “Because there’s no 4-point line.”

    • avb300 - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Statistically he is AW. I think josh smith, blaylock and AW are the only ones too shoot that many 3s at like 27%.

      random fact.

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