Stan Van Gundy Says Josh Smith Is Ready To Shoot Less Threes This Season
The Detroit Pistons are now the experiment of Stan Van Gundy, president of basketball operations and the Pistons head coach. Despite prior trade rumors surrounding Pistons forward Josh Smith and the Sacramento Kings, Van Gundy has since told Smith that he wants him in Detroit.
Smith and Van Gundy had another recent talk in which they discussed his shooting volume from the three-point line, via Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press:
I think Josh has a very good understanding of the shots he needs to shoot that are not only best for him, but best for our team. He’s one of the elite guys in the league around the basket. Last year, stuff inside, right at the rim, in two straight years, he has been 71% and 77%. There’s very few guys at that level. So he needs to get more of those. He knows that. He also understands he really doesn’t need to shoot threes for this team.
Will he get some? The other night, late in the shot clock, throw it back … you have to take that shot. He’s going to shoot some. It’s not a matter of number, one a game, less than one a game. It’s when are you shooting them? There might a game where he might take three.
What Van Gundy is alluding to is your basic notions of shot selection. Smith has never been known to be a strong outside shooter. He has the touch to knock down certain shots, but his primary operating areas on the court should rarely ever be outside of the paint.
He has an understanding of how he needs to play for our team; it’s the discipline to do it. He’s a smart guy. He knows and he’s not trying to fight you about anything. We need to put him around the basket and at the elbow area, where he can use his strength.’
Willing passer, which he definitely is. He’s got the vision to see the floor and get the ball to people. He’s one of the best playmaking forwards in this league. There aren’t very many better, particularly at the four spot. But even at the three, you have very few guys who would be there with him.
Van Gundy knows he has one of the most versatile and unique skill sets at forward in the entire league, he just has to embed discipline and structure within Smith and this Pistons team. We’ll see if that influence holds, and if so, if it’s good enough to earn Detroit a playoff standing this season.