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Old 11-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Jason Smith proving to be good find for New Orleans Hornets

If you won’t admit to being stunned, you probably aren’t being that truthful.

Not just that the New Orleans Hornets are 7-0, and the NBA’s last unbeaten team, entering tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers in the New Orleans Arena. Also, that one of their major contributors, Jason Smith, is about as big a surprise as there possibly can be.

“Not too much,” Chris Paul, professed basketball junkie, said he knew about Smith when the Hornets traded for him. “I told ‘J’ that.

“But I know a lot about him now, and I think the rest of the league knows a lot about him now.”

There isn’t much doubt about that, given the miniscule number of athletic 7-foot, 240-pound players who have good shooting range and a willingness to scrap on the glass. There also isn’t much doubt that they knew about as much as we did prior to September – namely, that Smith was a guy traded to the Hornets along with guard Willie Green, who was the “name” half of the acquisition.

True, the Hornets desperately needed backup post help. It has been an annual quest for the franchise, like it is for most teams, given that talented big men aren’t just hanging out on street corners.

But the concentration on Hornets reserves was so centered on the need to find a backup point guard to spell Paul after Darren Collison was traded, it was easy to minimize the almost equal desperation New Orleans had to find a competent power forward to give a breather to David West.

Smith has been playing really well for the Hornets. I didn't expect much of anything from the guy but he's been rather impressive in the time he gets on the court.
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