File under "incredible."
For players averaging at least 35 minutes a game, Al Horford leads the league in shooting from 16-23 feet at 48%. Guess who is last? Actually don't guess. Just know. Because you already know.
Yes, Josh Smith at 28%. In an attempt to kill any positive about Al Horford drilling, Josh attempts 2.9 of these shots a game. Horford 2.2.
This sums up something. I am not sure what, but definitely something.
"4. Josh Smith, Atlanta. Speaking of putting it altogether, a la Bosh. Smith abandoned the three (for the most part) and took over the paint. His field goal percentage is outrageous (56 percent, compared with 45 percent career), his rebounding has been stellar and he has regained the indefatigable blocking spirit missing from the soulless but successful '08-09 campaign. It's like the exclamatory Smith from Atlanta's lean years has found a way to exist within the framework of team success. And it is GLORIOUS."
"12. Joe Johnson, Atlanta. That Johnson's best pro season has coincided with Atlanta's leap up the leaderboard is not coincidence. J.J. has basically been a more gunner-y, less stopper-ish Roy. One could argue he belongs way up this list (like, say, alongside Roy), but Atlanta's backcourt is giving up as many open looks as the frontcourt (anchored by Smith and stout Al Horford), and while Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford are leading suspects J.J. is not immune from rotating late."
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has two personal goals this season—to make the All-Star Game and to be selected to the NBA's All-Defensive team.
A fantastic piece of news from the Hawks' brilliant Jon Steinberg:
"Ha. Both guys will just have Smith on their backs! No first initials, etc."
"I'm really not worried about the 3-point ball right now. I have no business out there."
Alas, the national cameras were finally on No. 5. (Sure, he got some attention over a couple of spectacular slam dunk contents, but the postseason brings a different caliber of lens.) With Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley’s full attention, how would J-Smooth react? Was he going to force 15-footers like he was prone to do? Would he drive uncontrollably to the hole and lose the ball? Or would he patiently work his defender, shake one way and send the poor chap the other?
In the span of 10 minutes, he wound up doing all three.
Chris Webber can’t understand that. We do.
Hawks coach Mike Woodson roasted him for passing the ball to Smith in the corner on in the final seconds. As Smith’s 24-footer bounced off the rim with 10.9 seconds left, Woodson jumped Bibby’s case for making the pass.
The surprise was Bibby’s response. He jumped Woodson right back, much to the delight of those of us sitting close enough to hear the entire exchange.
"If you don’t want me to throw to him put him somewhere else," Bibby shouted. "He’s wide [@*&$%] open. Wide open. What do you want me to do? If you don’t want him shooting that then put him somewhere else. You tell him."
"The only regret is that some of the guys that shed blood, sweat and tears with us along the way aren’t around to enjoy this part of it. Josh Childress is in Greece. And [former Hawks general manager Billy Knight] isn’t around to see what his team has become. And I don’t care how you slice it, this is his team. He put these pieces together and here we are."