Last season, despite it not making him a more effective offensive player, I became convinced that Josh Smith had improved as a jump shooter. He made 39% of his long two-point jumpers, almost one-third of his three-point attempts, and 72.5% of his free throws. Broad evidence of an improved stroke, that.
So far this season, Smith is making 42% of his long two-point jump shots. That's better than the league average. Smith is also making just 48.7% of his free throw attempts this season and just 6 of his last 19 attempts from the charity stripe. This while he's been on fire from the perimeter, riding a 27-50 (including his made three-pointer of the season) streak from outside of 16 feet over the last seven games.
What to make of the paradox? Who knows. But I did write a post about Smith 15 games into last season. He was making more than 40% of his long two-pointers at that point of the season and he almost kept that rate up for the entire season.