Jason Smith

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Morning tip: As Wizards reshape, spot duty appears ahead for Jason Smith

Morning tip: As Wizards reshape, spot duty appears ahead for Jason Smith

TORONTO – At no point did Scott Brooks ever go to Jason Smith to tell him that his playing time would be cut. It was an assumption, however, that the Wizards’ most consistent bench player this season could make on his own.

“We’re trying to get our rotations down for later in the season. What better time to do it now rather than then,” said Smith.

That was before he played Wednesday vs. the Toronto Raptors. Smith, who had logged just four minutes in the previous three games, erupted. In 10 minutes, he made all four of his shots for eight points and five rebounds and along with Bojan Bogdanovic, Kelly Oubre, Tomas Satoransky and Ian Mahinmi inspired a 26-3 second-quarter spurt to blow the game open.

The Wizards (36-23) won 105-96, the second game of a back-to-back in which they edged the Golden State Warriors 112-108.

Smith’s mid-range shooting can spread the floor for a second unit that has been scarce with points this season. Bogdanovic’s season-high 27 points will make him the sixth man in the rotation – a bench player who is capable of starting – and Brooks will have options.

Some nights he’ll want to go with a true big like Mahinmi in the middle, a rim protector who defends well on the pick-and-roll. Other nights Brooks might need a face-up big like Smith to open the floor because offense is the greater need.

“We had a great rotation against the Warriors,” Smith said. “That’s the way the game is evolving with small lineups. Small one through four and maybe one big guy out there. I just got to remain ready. Got to be prepared to go in at any time. It’s how the season has progressed. We knew that when we got Ian back. You’ve got to be prepared for anything. “

It’s an unusual position for Smith to lose playing time when he had been playing so well. The last time he was on a playoff team was 2011 with the then-New Orleans Hornets with Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza.

“I haven’t really had to deal with it like this playing throughout the year. But I haven’t been on winning teams like this either. 

Smith won’t go to Brooks and ask for more time.

"For him to stay ready and come in and impact the game in his nine or 10 minutes," Brooks said, "was huge."

[RELATED: VIDEO: John Wall blocks Raptors big man Serge Ibaka]

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Wizards' Jason Smith gives hilarious explanation of Shaqtin' A Fool moment vs. Bulls

Wizards' Jason Smith gives hilarious explanation of Shaqtin' A Fool moment vs. Bulls

Reserve big man Jason Smith is quietly finding his groove with the Wizards. And the more fans get to know him, the more there is to like. Just take Tuesday night's win against the Bulls. 

Smith finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks, plus solid defense in 23 minutes off the bench. But he also had a blooper reel moment that made Shaqtin' A Fool. 

Take a look at Smith's stumbling dive out of bounds while defending Bobby Portis:

Funny in a clumsy kinda way, but not as funny as his explanation after the game. 

Speaking to Rob Carlin, Brian Mitchell and Chris Miller on SportsTalk Live, Smith ran through what happened in shameless fashion. He fell kind of on purpose to rattle Portis? Maybe?

"So, I might have been a little gassed and I was like, you know what, I gotta get out there. But I was going to contest high, and my legs said no. And, uh, I just gave him like, you know the field goal kicker when you kinda dive past him?"

"Hey, it worked! It worked. He didn't shoot the ball and he didn't make it, so it worked," Smith said. But he admitted his coach might not have been so impressed.

"Coach Brooks might have just covered his head. 'Oh, what is he doing out there?' But it worked!" 

You can watch his full interview in the video player above. And next time you're watching a Wizards game, make sure to pay attention to Smith. It's worth it. 

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