High Fives All Around (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
"It was the type of game where everybody couldn't miss," said Smith, who made six of eight shots from 16 feet and beyond. "We were unselfish with the basketball, and everybody was reaping the benefits."
"It's always fun whenever we're playing unselfish and we're knocking down shots," Smith said.
On Horford at 4: "I think he likes the fact that he doesn’t have to get down there, every single night, bang against somebody that’s bigger and stronger. It certainly relieves him of that, puts him in a position where he can be a little fresher at the end of the game."
We’re obviously way off from this becoming reality, but I imagine some of you must be wondering — what happens if the Hawks keep up this unselfish style and start really playing well without Joe Johnson? It’d be challenging for any player, I’d think, and any team to re-adjust to their lead dog coming back, but I might think it could be especially so here. For one thing, players look to Johnson as that lead dog and so it’ll be a change in mindset for everyone when he returns.
Bret LaGree of Hoopinion discusses the contrasting styles of the Hawks last two victories:
One night they win with defense and asymmetry. The next night they coast to victory on the back of an offensive onslaught. A team that contains multitudes or just one of those things? I don't think one can doubt the varied and significant abilities of Josh Smith and Al Horford. Nor can one doubt the difference in defensive quality between the Orlando Magic and the New Jersey Nets. Suffice it to say, the Hawks cannot count either on holding opponents to 74 points on 87 possessions nor scoring 116 points on 90 possessions with any regularity. Accomplishing those feats on successive nights simply provides the spice of life.
Mike Prada of SB Nation asks when do we get comfortable with the idea of Josh Smith shooting jumpers:
At what point do we start to get comfortable with the idea of Josh Smith shooting jumpers. Coming into the game, Smith's percentages on shots outside of 16 feet was staggering, and he was on fire again in this game, scoring 34 points while hitting 14-16 from the field and 6-8 outside of 16 feet. No, he won't be that hot again, but is it really a stretch to say he can be competent from distance?
"Our guys tried," Avery Johnson told reporters. "Unfortunately we just played a better team."
How else does Josh Smith go 6-8 from beyond 15-feet (and 6-6 on all of his shots in the paint) en route to a game high 34 points (add in 7 assists and 2 blocks). The Hawks are stacked with volume shooters, and because they play at such a fast pace, they’re a natural bad match-up for the Nets, despite New Jersey’s victory earlier this season. But when Smith gives them a night like that, and Jamal Crawford chips in with 26 points on 11-17 shooting to boot, it’s just bad news for the Nets.