Josh SmithIn case you missed it, the Detroit Pistons have basically turned into a juggernaut since jettisoning veteran deep-ball chucker Josh Smith in mid-December. The Pistons are now 9-1 in the post J-Smoove era, with their lone loss being a very forgivable defeat at the hands of the only hotter team in basketball right now, the Atlanta Hawks. To put that 9-1 record in perspective, with Smith on the roster, the Pistons were dead in the water at 5-23 (a place we like to call “Knicks Territory”). After ridding themselves of Smith, the Pistons are now only two games out the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, and, considering the direction some teams in the East are headed, it’s not inconceivable that a playoff berth is in their future.

So, is the explanation for the turnaround really as simple as letting Smith go? Josh Smith doesn’t think so. According to him, the reversal of fortune could have happened under his watch:

“I’m excited for them,” Smith said, recently, when asked about the Pistons’ success without him. “We could’ve turned it around, I’m kind of thinking that. I text those guys every day and let them know  – the ones I was really close to – of how proud I am of them and to keep up the good work.”

And, how does he distract himself from the chatter of both of his former teams — Smith left the now-surging Hawks in 2013 — setting the NBA world on fire these days?

“Well, I really don’t pay attention. I watch ‘Family Guy.’ I watch ‘Maury Povich.’ That’s one of my favorite shows,” Smith said with a laugh. “I don’t really put my ears and eyes to negative publicity. I know that every player is critiqued in this league, especially by ones that don’t know the individual players, so I really can’t get mad. I mean, it’s something to talk about. If they had nothing to talk about on ESPN and other shows, no one would watch.”

After a rough start in Houston, the Rockets are 7-4 since his arrival, no doubt a result of Smith agreeing to come off the bench for the time being.