Limiting TNT import Smith top priority for GInebra ahead of Game 2, says Brownlee
Barangay Ginebra’s adjustments heading into Game 2 revolve around TNT import Joshua Smith.
Justin Brownlee said figuring out how to limit Smith should be one of the Gin Kings’ main priorities in practice after the former Georgetown Hoyas slotman powered the KaTropa to a win with a game-high 35 points in the semifinals opener Sunday night.
“He’s a dominant force in the paint, so we have to maybe do something different, maybe something, I don’t know. But we go to practice tomorrow (Monday). Coach Tim (Cone) will have something for us. We’re going to look forward to that,” Brownlee said after Ginebra’s 100-94 loss at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Gin Kings threw two to three defenders at the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Smith.
It appeared as if Ginebra’s defensive game plan was working in the first two quarters where Smith scored only six points, but the second half showed the Gin Kings had no answer for him.
Smith scored 29 points after halftime, including 18 in the third quarter. He also finished with 13 rebounds and four assists in less than 29 minutes off the bench.
“Number one, we gotta get hold of Smith better. You know, he’s not playing his minutes, but when he’s in there, he’s pretty much unstoppable,” Brownlee, who led the Kings with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, said.
“With Smith being a dominant force in the paint, the guy’s been active as well. Mainly, we have to find some type of way to get Smith. You know, keep him off the offensive rebounds. But also other guys, like Williams and some of the guards, too.”
Smith grabbed 11 of TNT’s 21 offensive rebounds in the game. The KaTropa got 25 second chance points.
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