Saturday, December 16, 2006

Josh Smith: A True Enigma

While watching the Bulls-Hawks tonight, I was struck by how terrible Josh Smith's body language is when he's on the court. He jogs in transition, has his arms at his sides most of the time, and generally seems like he could care less what is happening. Yet he was easily the most disruptive player on the court (including Ben Wallace). After one half of play he only had a steal on the books, but he altered countless shots and deflected at least four passes. In one sequence, he caused a bad miss, tipped a rebound to a teammate, and then (after said teammate lost the ball), deflected a pass and prevented a fastbreak basket. It was unreal.

For the season, Smith is fifth in the NBA with 2.4 blocks per game, while also collecting 1.4 steals per. His total of 3.8 "measureable defensive plays" per night is tied for first in the league with Shawn Marion.

The question is: how can a guy that looks so apathetic make so many defensive plays? Chalk it up to his unbelievable combination of athleticism and instincts.

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