Josh Smith has proved to everyone why he is worth loads of money this offseason.
Smith posted 32 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and one block in Friday night’s overtime loss against the Boston Celtics. He impacted the game in a variety of ways and made some nice plays on both ends of the floor. This great performance follows up a streak of five straight games against the C’s with a double-double, in which he averaged 15.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.
In last year’s 1st round series against the Celtics, Josh Smith averaged 16.8 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. His efforts with Al Horford out for the first half of the series helped tremendously, but the Hawks fell short in six games.
The man with the frequent lip smooch had a fantastic game last night, but I think he could’ve done even more to affect the outcome. When you look at his shot chart, it’s clear that his shot selection was poor, to say the least. He shot nine three-pointers. NINE! Kyle Korver is the only Hawks player that should be chucking up nine threes in a game. He shot 4-13 outside of the paint. That’s atrocious.
This guy is my favorite player and I trust him to be dominant inside, but the outside shooting has got to go. This has been a problem for far too long and I think he’s affected the team’s performance in way too many games. If he decides to pass out of a couple of those jumpers, maybe the Hawks get 4 or 5 more points over the course of a game.
In future games, against both the Celtics and the rest of the league, Josh needs to focus on being a scorer and distributor from the post and on the run. His passing ability out of the post is certainly above league average and he forces weak-side defenders to make difficult decisions. If that behind-the-back-and-then-between-the-legs pass he attempted late in the game was successful then two things would be happening.
- Smoove’s pass is in the Top 10 on SportsCenter, saving us from having to watch another boring hockey highlight.
- I would be talking about how great Josh played in a win. That possession was critical late in the game and if future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett wasn’t in the way, Al Horford would’ve been able to make an easy layup to propel the Hawks.
However, his pass was deflected and we’re forced to wonder what the Hawks could’ve done different to win the game. Should we just kidnap Paul Pierce and keep him in the storage closet next time?