Basketball writer and Boston College partisan Michael Pina has penned a love letter to Craig Smith at Hardwood Paroxysm:
Craig Smith is the most offensively gifted reserve forward in the league (apologies to Carl Landry who plays nearly twice as much). His collection of scoring tactics are a grocery list that would make William Perry jealous. When the ball is in his hands and the basket is within 10 feet, there is nobody who one on one can shut him down.
It’s funny how the draft works though. For a player to carve his own niche in the NBA it seems like he’s got to dig through a brick wall with a plastic spoon. Despite what he displayed in college, players with weaker resumes like Tyrus Thomas and Josh Boone were taken above him strictly based on what they might grow to become.
…Four years later he’s now a 26-year-old in a contract year. Whichever club decides to court him for the next three or four years will not be disappointed. Sure defensively he can be taken advantage of if the other team’s got multiple giants, but on the whole he’s talented enough to tip the scales in a contender’s favor.
This past week against the Celtics and the league’s deepest, most devastating defensive front line, Smith beamed his game back to 2003 and treated his opponents like they were the Clemson Tigers. He single-handedly kept the other L.A. team in the game with 10 straight points in the fourth quarter. Elusive up and unders, head fakes, ball fakes, shoulder dropping brute force aggressiveness, all were on display as the former Eagle did as he pleased.
Did Craig Smith take over a basketball game that featured a laundry list of all-star and hall-of-fame talent? Yes, yes he did.