Houston Rockets Using Greg Smith Wisely In Key Situations

By John Raffel
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Smith picked a fine time to have one of his best efforts of the season for the Houston Rockets.

He didn’t grab the headlines for Friday’s Houston victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-100.

James Harden with 37 points and Jeremy Lin with 24 points drew honors for the Rockets.

But it was Smith who quietly did his job in an effective way that played a key role in the Rockets’ victory.

Every win is big as this one was for a Houston team battling for playoff positioning. They are now two games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 7 playoff spot in the NBA‘s Western Conference. Smith came off the bench and provided Houston with 22 excellent minutes of playing time, hitting 5-of-7 from the floor and 2-of-4 at the line. He grabbed one offensive and three defensive rebounds and had one turnover. He gave coach Kevin McHale exactly what the Rockets needed to keep control of the game.

Smith has been a quiet contributor for the Rockets this season. In his second pro season, the former Fresno State standout has been averaging 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

In Smith’s previous game, a 111-81 win over the Phoenix Suns, he had an impressive 22 minutes of action, not necessarily in scoring, although he was 3-of-5 for six points. But he was outstanding on the boards for the Rockets with two offensive and 10 defensive rebounds for 12 overall and also blocked two shots.

Smith isn’t threatening anyone’s starting spot for the Rockets. But he is giving the team valuable minutes at the right time.

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