Player number three in the Early Predictions
series is Jason Smith and his miniature arms.
Predictions first, then thoughts. Yours in the comments at the bottom:
- Minutes: 800
- Points/game: 4.0
- Rebs/game: 2.7
- Ast/game: 0.5
- Steals/game: 0.4
- Blocks/game: 0.5
- TOV/game: 0.7
- DNPCDs: 18
- FG%: 44%
- 3PT%: 25%
I have Smith seeing more minutes this season, and I believe he's going to earn them. He won't earn them through efficient play, or what I like to call "good" play. But he will earn them by hustling. The Sixers have an overabundance of bigs who either can't or won't defend, for whatever reason. Smith's lackluster results on that end of the floor are mostly the result of physical limitations, rather than desire. I think his scrappy play will lead to more minutes this season when he's measured up against Speights and Hawes, and truth be told, Smith was probably the Sixers' best big man defender in the pick-and-roll last season.
I don't think more minutes will equal increased production, the guy is what he is, but he plays hard and maybe he can give a hard foul or two. Put me down as thinking he's going to make an impression on Collins early, and Collins is going to put him out on the floor for his energy and to send a message to the other guys. Something like, "See what that guy with child-sized arms is doing out there? Just imagine if you tried that hard!"