Five things to know about Pelicans forward Josh Smith

1)      A 12-year NBA veteran, Smith has played 891 career games, highlighted by 676 to start his career with the Atlanta Hawks. Smith also has appeared in 73 playoff games, making him one of the more experienced players on the current New Orleans roster. He was a key reserve and starter for the ’15 Houston team that reached the Western Conference finals.

2)      When he’s paired in the New Orleans frontcourt with Anthony Davis, that will give the Pelicans two formidable shot-blockers on the floor. Smith has averaged 1.9 blocks per game, averaging at least 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes in every season of his career.

3)      The 31-year-old Atlanta native was one of the last players to make the jump straight from high school to the NBA in 2004, before the league instituted an age-minimum rule in the middle of the last decade.

4)      Alvin Gentry’s pregame description Saturday on Smith and the reasoning behind the pickup: “Good passer, pretty good feel for the game. We were just so short on big guys, that we thought it would be a good idea to bring in somebody else.”

5)      A random note: a left-hander, Smith is the only southpaw on the New Orleans roster. All 17 other players are righties.

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