Monday, February 9, 2009

20/20 Hindsight: Elton Brand vs. Josh Smith

Just throwing this thought out there. Remember back in the offseason when the Sixers were looking to sign a power forward and the rumor was they were going to sign either Elton Brand or Josh Smith? I know we are only halfway into Brand's first season as a Sixer, but compare the stats of the two so far this season:

Brand: 29 games, 13.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.5 BPG
Smith: 38 games, 16.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.6 BPG

Both players have missed some time due to injuries, of course Brand is currently out for the year. Josh Smith is a box score stuffer who would have fit right in with the Sixers run-and-gun style of play that Brand has issues keeping up with. Throw in the fact that Smith is 23 and Brand is almost 30 and out for the season and it's almost a no-brainer which player the Sixers should have pursued. Of course, there is no way to know if the Sixers would have made an offer to Smith, a restricted free agent, that was high enough that the Atlanta Hawks couldn't have matched. The Grizzlies did manage to sign Smith to an offer sheet but the Hawks matched it, keeping Smith in Atlanta.

Hindsight is 20/20 but you won't find a Sixer fan anywhere who wouldn't rather have the young, athletic Smith on the team than the injured Elton Brand. I hope Brand does everything in his power to prove us all wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I disagree. As we saw last year, you really can't win in the playoffs with a fast-break offense. The pace will slow down and you need to be able to score in the half-court, which Josh Smith can't do. He's too similar to Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala: a high-flyer with a little bit of range (granted Smith is bigger and a legit shot-blocker). It's easy to say Smith is the right choice considering Brand is out for the year, but the post-season will be the true litmus test and everyone will see this team still lacks a legit post player (unless Marreese Speights continues to blossom).