Smith's hot start (4-10) from beyond the arc has lifted his career 3PTFG% to 26.8%.
Smith is also making a significantly higher percentage of his long two-point jump shots so far this season.
|Josh Smith||eFG% (16-23')|
So he's both taking and making a greater percentage of his long jump shots so far this season.
|Josh Smith||%FGA (16+')||eFG% (16+')|
Despite the improved outside shooting, Josh Smith's scoring rate is down about five percent from last season and, despite a marked improvement at the free throw line (up to 67.7% from 61.8% last season), his True Shooting Percentage has only improved slightly, moving from 53.6% to 55.5%.
The reason? Smith isn't augmenting his devastating finishing at the rim with better results from the perimeter. He's shooting jump shots instead of scoring at the rim. Maintaining his own high standard, Smith's making a great rate of his field goal attempts at the rim this season, but he's not attempting enough shots there, a fact also evidenced by Smith's reduced Free Throw Rate (27.0 for his career entering the season, 23.3 so far in 2010-11).
|Josh Smith||%FGA (at rim)||eFG% (at rim)|
If, as Tim Povtak hypothesizes at FanHouse, Josh Smith's consistency is the key to Atlanta's success this season, the early returns are not promising. Despite improved shooting from the perimeter, the free throw line, and overall, Smith's shot distribution, should he maintain the early pattern of this young season, will not allow for consistency. Granted, if Smith truly has become a league average jump shooter, his shot distribution could easily change as defenses adjust. However, an improved jump shot will have little practical value for Smith or the Hawks if those shots (however more often they fall) simply replace higher-percentage shots.