Smith scored seven points (3-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt) in 28 minutes against the Raptors on Wednesday. He also had three assists and four blocks.
First, don't expect the 6-foot Smith to block four shots in a game once they start counting. With Reggie Jackson out to start the season, more is going to be asked of Smith. While it's only preseason, Smith has been held to single-digit points in three of Detroit's last five games. If that's a sign of anything, it's not a good one.
Smith put up 18 points (6-10 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 4-6 FT), eight assists, seven rebounds and one block across 30 minutes in Thursday's 99-94 preseason win over the Hawks.
After struggling mightily in his first two starts at point guard in place of Reggie Jackson (knee), Smith came through with a performance resembling the sort of production he delivered for the 76ers in the second half of last season. Smith certainly benefited from being the lead playmaker in Philadelphia, and though it's unlikely he'll see as significant amount of offensive usage on a more talented Pistons squad, the 28-year-old is still worthy of a roster spot in most fantasy formats. Jackson is projected to be sidelined through at least late November, so Smith could be in line for 15 games where he'll see around 30 minutes per night.
It wasn't exactly a rousing performance from the player that will open the season as the starting point guard following the announcement of Reggie Jackson's (knee) absence, but Smith does have a proven body of work that should give the
Smith is expected to open the season as the Pistons' starting point guard following the news that Reggie Jackson (knee) could be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports.
Jackson's timetable is far from ironclad, but coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that the 26-year-old will likely be sidelined through the start of the regular season, leaving Smith as the team's top alternative. The Pistons are expected to explore the trade or free-agent market to bolster their depth at the position, but it's unlikely that they would have the capital to find a player who would profile as a better starting option than Smith, who thrived in that role with the Sixers last season. In his 50 games with Philadelphia after coming over in a trade from New Orleans, Smith averaged 14.7 points (on 40.5% shooting), 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.4 minutes per game. He'll likely struggle to replicate those numbers while deferring more to others as he joins a starting lineup that's far stronger than last season's 10-win 76ers team, but Smith should produce well enough to hold down a roster spot in deeper fantasy leagues.
It looked like Smith was on course to wash out of the league after serving as bottom-of-the-roster fodder for a number of teams in his first five years as a professional, but he cemented himself as a viable NBA regular in 2015-16. After a successful run early in the season with the Pelicans when a number of the team's point guards were injured, Smith was dealt in December to the 76ers, where he served in a starting role the rest of the way. In 50 games with the 76ers, Smith averaged 14.7 points, 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game, but his inconsistent shooting, slight frame and unreliable touch from three-point range makes him better suited for backup duties long term. Look for Smith to slot in behind Reggie Jackson on the depth chart and give the Pistons around 15-to-20 minutes per game off the bench, with the speed he brings to the table making him a more capable second-unit floor general than Steve Blake was last season.
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