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Better career : Josh Smith or Andrei kirilenko?

Dazzling Dunks ...
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Better career : Josh Smith or Andrei kirilenko?

Since there isn't much basketball news right now I figured I'd make a post about a random player comparison for a couple of unique guys who I feel were a little underappreciated during their careers for whatever reasons.

Kirilenko is recently retired and Smith's NBA future could well be in doubt at this point. Both were long, rangy, guys with athletic gifts that few could match. Both could fill up a stat sheet like few others in their primes but had flaws in their games that kept them from really being among the games truly elite. Both were important pieces on very solid (if not elite) teams but they only have a combined one all-star appearance between them (kirilenko in 2004).

The raw numbers seem to favor Smith but the advanced seem to favor kirilenko slightly more. Neither have won a championship although they were never really in a position to. So who would you say had the better overall career (assuming Smith is done of course)?


Chewy
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both were terrible 3 point shooters

But I'll take Kirilenko because his outstanding defense and the fact that he shot less threes. Smith has 3 seasons of 200 plus 3PA with 4 more seasons of 100+ 3PA.

Kirilenko had 1 season of 200+ 3PA and shot an only somewhat horrible clip of 33% (only 3% lower than his career best 3P%). And only 4 seasons of 100+ 3PA.

OhCanada-
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AK-47. He made just shy of

AK-47. He made just shy of $110-Million while Smith made about $100. Yet Smith may still have some gas in the tank it seems like his best days are behind him. I know its only a $10-Million difference but I'm sure that extra money would come in handy.

Dazzling Dunks ...
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Smith's shooting woes really

Smith's shooting woes really got in his head later in his career I think. It was almost like he got sick of everyone saying he couldn't make 3s and he started shooting more to prove he could. His FT% also drastically dropped as well. He was an absolutely terrible fit in Detroit and played out of position which didn't help matters. He kind of developed such a reputation for his bad shooting that people basically overlooked the things he actually did really well on the court.

While he still took some ill-advised shots in Atlanta he was generally a low volume 3 point shooter who shot a decent overall % from the field. He was a far more efficient player in those years.

PurpleMonkeyDis...
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???

Why don't you just ask what water is better aquafina or evian? It isn't any less important. I am sure if you used your imagination you could come up with something better.

Mr. 19134
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Evian is clearly better

Evian is clearly better

Cynthia
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AK47

This is an interesting and surprisingly equal comparison.

I'm going to have to give the slight nod to AK47 because even though offensively they were pretty similar I think Andrei played a little smarter. As far as defensive I think AK47 was noticeably better but not greatly better.

Although Andrei was pretty athletic, Smith definitely won in that category. Smith was more flashy and pumped out some crazy highlights in his prime.

I feel like Josh Smith tries too hard to be the main guy, while AK47 has no problem being the glue guy.

chall23
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Man I think you guys are kind

Man I think you guys are kind of understating just how good AK-47 was in his prime. I think he was the far superior player to Smith. He never needed the ball in his hands and was just an amazing defensive player AND shot blocker. What I always thought was crazy is how many shots he would block from outside the paint. I think players didn't realize how long and athletic he was.

chall23
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Man I think you guys are kind

Man I think you guys are kind of understating just how good AK-47 was in his prime. I think he was the far superior player to Smith. He never needed the ball in his hands and was just an amazing defensive player AND shot blocker. What I always thought was crazy is how many shots he would block from outside the paint. I think players didn't realize how long and athletic he was.

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I'll take AK47. I just think

I'll take AK47. I just think he played better without the ball and actually worked better within an offensive system, while Smith largely stands around and jacks stupid shots.

AK47 was also a much, much better passer. Neither are complete enough offensive players to take on a significant scoring role, so, I'd much rather have the guy who works well within a system and doesn't need to dominate the ball or get shots up to be happy.

Defensively, it's about a wash from a talent level, but man, Smith doesn't always play with a lot of effort or intensity. In his prime, AK always brought it. If I was picking a team and both were actually healthy, I'd take AK47, and to me it's really not close.

JoeWolf1
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There have been 3 guys who,

There have been 3 guys who, since they started keeping track, that have tallied 150 steals and 200 blocks in the same season.

David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and AK-47

He was a truly unique player, and defender.

Smith was a very nice shot blocker, and athletic 4 in his prime, but Kirilenko was a better all around player, and since both players hung their hat on defense, I believe Andrei was the better defender as well.

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Josh Smith had a longer

Josh Smith had a longer career, which I suppose counts for something. But if the question is, which player would you take in their prime?, then I don't see how it's even a contest. The answer is AK-47.

There were a games where Kirilenko dominated on defense. If he wasn't plagued with injury problems, I seriously beleive he would have been a hall of famer.

Dazzling Dunks ...
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Actually kirilenko would have

Actually kirilenko would have had the longer career right now, unless Smith keeps playing for a few more years.

Bird_Years
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Career wise I'm taking AK47

Career wise I'm taking AK47 every time, for reasons including those already mentioned by @JoeWolf1 and @DolanNewspeak

But, let's not forget the legit playoff changing games Josh Smith had with the Rockets late in his career,

2015 Playoffs, 2nd Round vs Clippers: Houston down 3-1 to CP3 and the Clippers right after the Clippers upset the Spurs on CP3's phenomenal effort. Josh Smith has been playing like garbage and is an afterthought. Harden has been carrying the team and Dwight is fading fast.

Game 5: Smith gets the start and posts an efficient 9 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 1 blk on 57% FG%. Houston wins, Series 3-2.

Games 6: Monster Game for Smith: 19 pts, 6 rebs, 2 assists, 56% shooting and 4 of 7 on threes. Houston wins, Series knotted

Game 7: With the series tied up, Smith doesn't let up: 15 pts on 60% FG%, and sends the highly favoured Clippers home

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