The excellent Wages of Wins blog named Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith to its NBA Underappreciated team. Joining Smith on the team are point guards Jose Calderon and Russell Westbrook, forward Andre Iguodala, and center Pau Gasol. On Smith, Dre Alvarez writes:
This was a hard call. Both Lamar Odom and Kevin Love had a good shot at this but they at least they got awards this season. Smith has actually shown an ability to grow as a player and has played as a top power forward in the league. Despite this he gets no accolades. What’s worse is his name constantly ends up in trade rumors. On a team with bigger issues, it’s amazing how little Smith’s efforts are appreciated.
We have discussed at length Smith's lack of recognition in the past. The debate always seems to stem as the reasoning for his lack of recognition. On one hand, playing for the Hawks doesn't garner him any advantages. On the other, Smith is often his own worst enemy particularly with his well publicized affinity for the jump shot.
Basically Smith goes beyond the numbers. It is easy to look at his stats at the end of the season and see that he is an all around talent. However, if you watch him day in and day out, Smith often leaves you wanting more. A few small refinements in shot selection and attitude could propel Smith to the next level. Its that fact that makes Hawks fans nervous whenever the forward's name pops up in trade rumors.