Remembering the time Josh Smith saved the Rockets’ season

Houston Rockets Josh Smith (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Josh Smith (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Josh Smith (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Smith in Houston

Although Smith proved to be a key signing, not many people initially believed he would be a fit for the Rockets’ desired style of play. The Rockets were coming off a season in which they attempted more 3-pointers than anyone else in the league and J. Smoove made only 24.3 percent of his treys through his first 28 games with the Detroit Pistons prior to getting bought out.

It goes without saying but it wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven between Smith and the Rockets, at least not on paper. At the time, the main benefit of Smith playing in Houston was that he had experience playing alongside Dwight Howard, as the two long-time friends played on the same AAU team during their childhood days.

All in all, Smith averaged 12 points per game in Houston and made 33 percent of his triples, which was a percentage he only reached once in his previous 10 years. The Rockets went 56-26 during the season, which gave them the second seed in the Western Conference.

The Rockets drew a first round matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, and Smith played a huge part in the Houston Rockets advancing to the second round, as he was their second-leading scorer and played stellar all-around. In fact, Smith averaged 17.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while shooting a career-best 39.1 percent from downtown. In addition, Smith made 51.5 percent of his shots, which was as much of a surprise as his 3-point shooting percentage.

Next: Smith in WCS