Clippers-Rockets Game 2 Preview: What We’ve Learned So Far

5 of 6

Josh Smith still can’t shoot threes

May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) shoots against Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis (0) in the first quarter in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

No matter how good James Harden is at draining tough threes (he shot 37.5 percent from deep this season) Josh Smith is the main culprit who damages the efficiency of the Rockets as a whole. His days with the Detroit Pistons (where he made just 26.2 percent of his threes) instantly earned him the reputation as a man who brings down his team.

Smith was trying to proclaim himself as a shooting small forward, when he’s really just a power forward who is far better at playing under the basket. He made a highly efficient 67.6 percent of his shots within three feet of the rim in Detroit, yet he still chose to hoist up 2.9 threes a game.

So whilst he has experienced some improvement with the Rockets (he made 33 percent of his threes this season) it’s still not nearly enough to make him a reliable threat from distance.

He may have good shooters around him, but Smith’s lacking efficiency is one reason why the Rockets only ranked 14th this year in team three point percentage, with 34.8 percent. Meanwhile, the Clippers had the league’s best offense all together.

They ranked first in offensive rating with 109.8 points per 100 possessions and finished the year as the 3rd most accurate team from behind the arc at 37.6 percent.

If Smith continues to try his luck from deep — as he did in game one by making just 1 of his 5 threes and 3-of-12 shots overall — his poor efficiency from range is only going to end up hurting the Rockets.