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NBA All-Star changes may impact Atlanta Hawks

When the NBA decided it was time to blend the forwards and centers into a fun bunch called Frontcourt players, it may have made one Hawk's chances the expense of another.

Kevin C. Cox

For this exhibition, the front and back courts are probably best selected this way, a better way to include all the best players than to have to include somebody a little further back in the pack because he fills out a quota at a more sparse position.

It was that old process that allowed the inclusion of such players as Jamaal Magloire, Roy Hibbert and Al Horford.

Not that Horford himself wasn't worthy of inclusion -- his PER always counts him among the Eastern Conference's top Frontcourt players, it was just easier to justify his quick selection as the second best Center than it would have been in the scrum with all frontcourt players.

But while it might make it harder to make the case for Horford moving forward, the player this could help most plays for the same team.

Josh Smith has been so close to getting the nod in seasons past and might have made it if Horford or Hibbert didn't have to fill that center quota.

In the Hawks practice court area hangs a banner that commemorates each of the players that have participated in the All-Star game.

This season, it's possible that Smith could see his name up there for the first time, and perhaps it would be at the expense of Horford.