May 10, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) attacks the basket during the second quarter of game six in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
The Celtics are in desperate need of Josh Smith’s services. They’ve been missing their defensive edge all season long. With Avery Bradley out, they’re struggling more than they ever have.
Right now, Boston is allowing 106 points per 100 possessions. That’s easily the most through any period that Kevin Garnett has played for this team.
The bottom line is that the Celtics are becoming a more guard oriented team and playing smaller with Garnett at the center position. They’re being demolished in the paint night in and night out. We see this with the other teams that are small like the Knicks and the Heat–the only difference is their offenses are more polished than Boston’s.
Enter Josh Smith, the forward hybrid out of Atlanta. Smith would work wonders for Boston even if only on the defensive end of the floor. Right now, Smith hasn’t had a healthy start to the season. He’s struggling with an ankle issue that has been nagging him throughout the season.
However, on the defensive end Smith is still destroying the opposition. He’s only allowing 96 points per possession which ties a career best for him. He’s excellent at defending the pick and roll–something that the Celtics have been awful at all season–and he’s a great ball pressure guy.
On the offensive end, Smith is a guy who can get up and down the floor and finish at the rim. That’s something that Boston is really lacking. If Boston were to acquire Smith, they’d be able to push the pace on the floor more. I think that’s when Boston is at their best–in transition.
Smith is a good rim runner as well. His inside finishing ability collapses the defense during fastbreak opportunities and allows open shots for the wings beyond the arch.
Anytime you have someone available that led the league in defensive win shares, you have to attack it. Especially when your team is struggling to defend as it is. Smith gives you someone who can defend on the perimeter or in the paint. That’s something that Boston desperately needs right now.
Rivers says that his main focus is catching up to the Miami Heat. Josh Smith will instantly provide the Celtics with a boost in that case. LeBron will be playing the power forward position primarily this year. I’m 200% sure that James will tear Brandon Bass to shreds if he has to guard him. Smith will do wonders for Boston when they need to guard James. He has the footspeed to keep up and the length to recover when beat off of the dribble. That’s something that Bass lacks and Boston needs.
As the NBA evolves into a hybrid league, the Celtics have the opportunity to snatch a very good hybrid player in a contract year. That’s an opportunity you can’t pass up at the end of the day. Hopefully Boston makes the right decision.