My video series for a devastating quadfecta of ‘Zards role-players concludes with Ish Smith dropping a rather pedestrian (compared to the other three’s statlines) 19 points and 7 assists. The combination of Smith, Ian Mahinmi, Garrison Mathews, and Jordan McRae scored 101 points. The rest of the team, 22. Mahinmi was the only starter in that group. I guess weird things are pretty much guaranteed to happen when you rob a team of their dominant offensive threat (in this case, Bradley Beal). Rotations have to be drastically rearranged, and points have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere probably isn’t ever going to be Johnathan Williams.
Smith, unlike the other three who did most of their damage in the first half, came alive in the second half to put the Heat away. If the Heat were gaining any momentum at all (and I couldn’t tell that they were), Smith was halting it quickly with another one of his patented “cruddy buckets”. The kind of bucket where it seems like there should be no way that it goes in, but it does, because the guy shooting it is Ish Smith and he doesn’t care what defender is between him and the rim or what that defender is doing.
His reliance on tough buckets has put a cap on his upside throughout his career, but it does mean that his highlights usually end up being more exciting than expected (like this one). As compared to someone like, say, George Hill, who is the way better player but 100 times less exciting.