All-NBA Team, Meet Josh Smith

It's time.

Josh Smith should be All-NBA. You all don't hear me. Josh Smith should be one of the 15 players recognized for excellence in the 2011-2012 season.

This is the season to carefully fold up all of those stale comments about jump shots and talking to the refs and file them away.

This is the season to put aside the eight season's worth of what Josh Smith doesn't do right on the court and stare right into the eyes of the things he does do right.

This is the season Josh Smith = All-NBA.

Why not? He's produced better across the board than almost all of his positional contemporaries and has been the mainstay, the centerpiece of a potential Top 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

You need more -- you want stats -- I get it -- here are a few.

  • 25 Double-doubles is good for fifth in the league this season.
  • 5th in Defensive Rebounding rate, with 25% -- only Kevin Love and Blake Griffin are better this season at power forward -- Cousins and Garnett are playing a lot of center this season.
  • #1 in Assist percentage with 20.6%. Among all forwards, only Paul Pierce and Hedo Turkoglu have higher rates, both small forwards.
  • If you are looking for a player who has more than 70 steals and 70 blocked shots, there are only two: Smith and Dwight Howard.
  • In fact, there are only three players who have a 20 PER, 20% Defensive Rebound Rate, 3% Block Rate and 2% Steal Rate: Smith, Howard, and Cousins

Here is a full look at Smith against some colleagues in the front court (Parameters included 20+ PER and 20% DRB through games of 4/6):

Totals Advanced
Rk Player Tm MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG%
1 Kevin Love MIN 2064 25.6 .571 .500 11.4 26.5 18.9 9.8 1.1 0.9 9.3 28.6
2 Kevin Garnett BOS 1594 20.2 .553 .510 4.4 25.8 15.6 18.2 1.5 2.6 11.6 24.4
3 Blake Griffin LAC 1995 22.9 .551 .540 10.4 25.5 17.9 15.7 1.2 1.6 10.9 26.8
4 DeMarcus Cousins SAC 1600 21.8 .506 .451 14.8 25.3 19.8 9.6 2.2 3.1 13.8 29.5
5 Josh Smith ATL 1977 21.1 .494 .466 6.7 25.0 15.9 20.6 2.2 3.9 11.2 28.2
6 Al Jefferson UTA 1681 23.0 .521 .493 7.4 24.8 16.0 12.1 1.3 3.7 5.9 26.4
7 Ersan Ilyasova MIL 1403 20.5 .574 .529 12.7 22.8 17.6 6.8 1.2 2.0 9.4 19.8
8 Paul Millsap UTA 1723 23.1 .556 .510 10.4 21.7 15.9 12.8 2.9 2.1 10.0 23.3
9 Kevin Durant OKC 2085 26.2 .609 .551 1.9 20.8 12.0 17.4 1.9 2.2 14.1 31.0
10 Dirk Nowitzki DAL 1677 22.0 .560 .493 2.7 19.6 11.2 13.3 1.2 1.2 8.7 29.2
11 LaMarcus Aldridge POR 1881 22.7 .561 .515 8.7 17.6 13.1 13.2 1.3 1.7 9.7 27.1
12 Ryan Anderson ORL 1631 22.0 .597 .557 13.1 14.4 13.8 5.4 1.5 1.0 6.2 21.5
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2012.

Now here are some of the standard counting stats:

Per Game Shooting Advanced
Rk Player Tm MP ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS FG% 3P% FT% PER BLK% STL% DRB%
1 Kevin Love MIN 39.7 4.1 9.4 13.6 2.0 0.8 0.5 2.4 26.5 .451 .377 .822 25.6 0.9 1.1 26.5
2 Kevin Garnett BOS 31.3 1.1 7.2 8.3 3.0 0.9 1.1 1.8 15.5 .508 .375 .850 20.2 2.6 1.5 25.8
3 Blake Griffin LAC 36.3 3.2 7.7 10.9 3.0 0.8 0.7 2.3 20.7 .539 .182 .530 22.9 1.6 1.2 25.5
4 DeMarcus Cousins SAC 30.2 4.3 6.7 10.9 1.6 1.3 1.3 2.8 18.0 .450 .167 .728 21.8 3.1 2.2 25.3
5 Josh Smith ATL 35.9 2.1 7.7 9.7 3.9 1.5 1.8 2.4 18.9 .452 .277 .622 21.1 3.9 2.2 25.0
6 Al Jefferson UTA 33.6 2.2 7.2 9.4 2.2 0.8 1.6 1.2 19.4 .493 .333 .775 23.0 3.7 1.3 24.8
7 Ersan Ilyasova MIL 27.5 3.3 5.5 8.7 1.1 0.6 0.7 1.2 12.8 .493 .419 .803 20.5 2.0 1.2 22.8
8 Paul Millsap UTA 31.9 2.9 5.9 8.9 2.3 1.8 0.9 1.7 16.6 .506 .222 .812 23.1 2.1 2.9 21.7
9 Kevin Durant OKC 38.6 0.6 7.5 8.1 3.5 1.4 1.1 3.7 27.6 .502 .375 .850 26.2 2.2 1.9 20.8
10 Dirk Nowitzki DAL 32.9 0.8 5.8 6.6 2.2 0.8 0.5 1.8 21.2 .459 .358 .879 22.0 1.2 1.2 19.6
11 LaMarcus Aldridge POR 36.2 2.7 5.4 8.1 2.4 0.9 0.8 2.1 21.6 .514 .100 .812 22.7 1.7 1.3 17.6
12 Ryan Anderson ORL 31.4 3.6 3.9 7.5 0.9 0.8 0.4 0.9 16.1 .439 .413 .866 22.0 1.0 1.5 14.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2012.

There are a couple of usual names missing from the list for one exclusion or another, Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol.
Both men trail Josh in every category except for name recognition and respect nationally. You will see some guys doing better in a category here and there, but nobody matches his all-around excellence in so many areas.

Also what must be factored in is Smith's importance to the Hawks, a team on the precipice of gaining a home court advantage slot in the playoffs. Such an occurrence seemed out of bounds when Al Horford, he of the 2 All-Star appearances and spot on the 3rd team All-NBA last year, went down for the regular season so early on in the year. All eyes were on Smith to see if and how he would respond to the added responsibility.

All Smith has done is raised his game, his consistency and his stats to another level, as the boards above indicate. In a season where playing a truckload of minutes is a negative, Smith has had this kind of season. Nobody can match Smith's production over the multitude of categories in which he rates.

He is the best player on a team that has won nearly 60 percent of their games, providing everything the team needed and then some. He should have been recognized as an All-Star, but now here is an opportunity to bestow the recognition that is well-deserved.

Josh Smith is one of the best players in the league, is having a fantastic season for a winning ball club while posting career best numbers that, across the board, only a couple of players can match.

Add it all up and now is the time to honor him with an All-NBA selection.


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