Embed from Getty Images Ish Smith missed games due to a groin injury. During that time he was a vocal leader on the Detroit Pistons bench. In fact he would cheer for 19 games due to the injury. Detroit went 5-14 with Smith out of the lineup. The Detroit Pistons are a better team with Ish Smith on the court.
26-14 that equates to a .650 winning percentage. That is the Detroit Pistons record when they have Ish Smith at their disposal. Now healthy, the Pistons are on a 12-4 run with Smith back.
He lacks size and is not a very imposing looking player. At 6 feet and barely 175 lbs, Ish Smith bounced around the league. Playing on 10 different teams in 9 seasons. His last contract was a three year deal with the Detroit Pistons.
It has been a God-send for both player and organization. Ish provides the Pistons with a energy off the bench. When he comes in the Pistons play more up-tempo. The team feeds off of Smith’s play.
Offense, defense, the Pistons can count on Smith for doing both well on game days. Head Pistons coach Dwane Casey said “He both sets the tone and changes the way we play when he’s out there.”
Averaging 8.7 points, 3.5 assists with 35% three point shooting are far from great numbers. Sometimes, as in the case with Ish Smith numbers deceive. You see, the energy and all-out style of play Smith brings that is what his teammates feed off of. That is his value to Detroit Pistons basketball.
The numbers do not lie. Since coming back after a prolonged layoff, Both Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway have suddenly turned red-hot for the Pistons. That is because they come off the bench with Smith.
Blake Griffin offered high praise for a guy with modest numbers “he makes our second unit, it is hard to guard his speed.” So big numbers be damned, Ish Smith has the intangibles the Pistons need. The greatest is just being on the court.