Zhaire Smith Makes His NBA Debut With Style
There have been numerous fakeouts this season with Zhaire Smith and his NBA debut. He's been called up, sent down, recalled, and even sat on the bench one night, but hadn't gotten on an NBA court after getting drafted and traded to the 76ers last summer.
Overcoming injuries and illness hasn't been easy, but the hard work has paid off as the quiet Zhaire Smith made his splashy NBA debut exactly how we all thought he would: By draining a three-pointer. Really.
When picturing Smith's debut, I would have placed stepping into a three 10th on a list of scenarios for the first career points. Not that he hasn't had the ability to drain the deep ball; it's just not his calling card.
An alley-oop? Sure. A putback jam over two dudes? Easy. A jumper from the elbow? I've seen that before.
I'm not complaining; we'll see plenty of dunks from Smith. It will be awesome if we see a consistent jumper like that, too. An offensive Smith is a dangerous thing. He finished his debut only attempting the one shot, but added a steal and a rebound.
The 76ers have eight games remaining in the regular season and at least one playoff series as a three-seed in the Eastern Conference. Moving forward, we'll find out if Smith is only up to give some top of the rotation guys a rest, or if he's going to be a piece of the puzzle for a playoff run.
With the G-league season over, it's probably the former, but it wouldn't surprise me for Zhaire Smith to get hot and force the issue.