Mar 30, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) dunks against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Houston 99-96. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
3. Josh Smith
As much as some people do not like Smith shooting the three, he has actually been improving. In his last four outings, he’s shot 35 percent from beyond the arc. It’s not necessarily a great percentage but it’s much higher than the pedestrian 24 percent he was shooting in Detroit. In a high-scoring, injury-plagued bout with the Timberwolves, Smith nearly registered a triple double (16 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds).
With Howard playing, he’s shooting 51 percent from the field. During the second of the back-to-back game when Howard sat out, Smith shot only 21 percent. Smith’s drives aren’t as clean as they would be if Howard sat beside the rim, waiting for a lob.
Defenders are responsible to help more when Howard’s not on the floor. Smith has also accrued 14 turnovers in that span which is the heart of the Rockets’ woes. The Rockets have still been winning regardless of their misfortunes and Smith has played phenomenal defense (especially in transition) but he needs to work on his flaws to give this team a chance at making noise in the playoffs.
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