2. 3-Point Shooting
It’s well known that the Houston Rockets like to shoot 3-pointers, as they shoot more of them than anyone else in the league. But for as much as the Rockets depend on the 3-point shot, they’re in the middle of the pack as it pertains to their 3-point percentage.
Enter JR Swish, who is a known sniper. In fact, Smith ranks 13th in league history in made treys, and has shown the ability to fire away, which is exactly what Mike D’Antoni would ask him to do. Smith is a career 37.3 percent shooter from long-range and made 38.2 percent of his shots from deep during the Cavaliers’ four trips to the NBA Finals.
Furthermore, Smith made 40 percent of his treys during the Cavs’ championship season, which was the highest among all Cavs starters. 40 percent is obviously a stellar mark, but the fact that he performed better than Kyrie Irving from deep is impressive, considering that Irving is a former 3-point contest champion.
During the 2016 NBA Finals, Smith made 35.6 percent of his treys, which was third on the Cavs behind only LeBron and Kyrie, as he became the third wheel they needed for a lethal scoring trio. During the 2017 NBA Finals, Smith performed even better from long-range, as he made a remarkable 58.1 percent of his 3-pointers, which was the best clip among both the Cavs and the Warriors.
Imagine that. Smith outperformed Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson from downtown. It goes without saying, but each of those players are known 3-point snipers, and Smith performed better than all three of them. During the 2018 Finals, Smith made 36.1 percent of his triples, which was second-best on the Cavs behind only George Hill.
One of the best things about Smith’s long-range shooting ability is his ability to create separation and get open to let off a triple. In fact, JR Swish has had at least 91.6 percent of his 3-pointers assisted in each of the last four seasons.
This would come in handy on a Houston Rockets team that has two of the league’s best passers in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Combine that with the fact that Smith would have the encouragement from D’Antoni to let it fly, which would make the Houston Rockets a great destination for Smith.
Next: No. 1