AN EYE ON J-SMOOVE

Posted by: Jake Fischer
04/05/13 1:53 pm EST

When the 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks square off in Phillips Arena tonight, the Sixers organization and Philadunkia nation will have their second to last view of Hawks forward Josh Smith before he hits free agency.  Ironically enough, the skill set that Smith possess which makes him an attractive free agent prospect for the Sixers makes him a dangerous opponent this evening.

While Spencer Hawes has been very productive as of late for head coach Doug Collins, defensively, he will likely be taken out of the game by Atlanta center Al Horford’s size and skill.  With that in mind, Thad Young, Lavoy Allen and sometimes Arnett Moultrie will be left to cover the polarizing Smith. 

Unfortunately for Collins, Smith is a mismatch for all three of those bigs.

This season, the College Park, Ga. native is averaging 17.4 points, 4.3 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game in his contract year.  The 6-9, 225-pounder can body guys up on the block and be effective on the perimeter with a dribble-drive and jumper.  Thad is listed at 6-8, 235 pounds, but when he stands next to Smith, the former Slam Dunk Contest champion looks like a man next to a boy.  The Hawks forward will most likely look to take advantage of Thad on the block, and while the scrappy, undersized big will hold his own, Smith should be successful on a few occasions.

Next, Smith is far too laterally quick for both Lavoy or Moultrie on the perimeter.  We all know how Lavoy runs the court like he’s trudging through quicksand, and the Hawks most likely know that through scouting.  Moultrie can roll to the basketball and take the ball to the rim with authority while defending the post very well, but he most likely doesn’t have the foot speed to keep Smith outside of the paint on a drive from the high post or elbow extended.

Atlanta likes to run a lot of offensive sets that put Smith at the high post with Horford on the block — an offense many expected the Sixers would run with Hawes and Andrew “He Who Must Not Be Named”.  What makes that offensive set so effective is that both Horford and Smith have the ability to produce down low and from 15-feet away from the hoop.  That could wreck havoc against the 76ers.

With that in mind, while watching the Sixers take on the Hawks tonight, keep a close on Josh Smith and dream of how lethal a Smith and Andrew Bynum high-low combination could be in the Wells Fargo Center next season. 

But, for now, the Sixers will most likely be victim to Smith’s offensive prowess and a likely 20-10 performance.


 
 
 

6 Responses to “AN EYE ON J-SMOOVE”

  1. RYN_JAY
    5. April 2013 at 15:00

    My dream starting lineup next year would be
    PG-Jrue
    SG-Oladipo
    SF-Thad
    PF-J-Smoove
    C-Bynum

    That would be nastyyyy.

  2. Steve Toll
    5. April 2013 at 18:53

    RYN_JAY,

    My dream starting lineup next year would be
    Chris Paul
    Harden
    Durant
    Lebron
    Hawes

    The interesting thing is both our “dream lineups” have the same chance of happening.

  3. Cody
    5. April 2013 at 19:19

    Nice read. Josh Smith is a great player. Check out what I had to say about tonight’s game. http://www.76hoops.com/encore-to-a-historically-bad-night/

  4. Adam
    6. April 2013 at 09:32

    He would keep the sixers mediocre. Waste of time…. Fringe all stars dont help teams without a franchise player compete.

    Also… Inagining bynum on the floor is a waste of time and energy.

  5. Sean
    7. April 2013 at 13:45

    We absolutely do NOT need Josh Smith…look at all those championships and deep playoff runs the Hawks have been making…oh that’s right they haven’t. Nice player but quite overrated.

  6. chung
    8. April 2013 at 10:05

    If only we could spend a ton of money on Josh Smith and an elite Power Forward (Say… Al Horford), we could become the Hawks – It’s worked out so well for them.

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