Continuing the Know Thy Self series, where we meet the roster of the 2012-2013 Atlanta Hawks, we take a look at Josh Smith. It'll be difficult to cover new ground on a Hawks mainstay like Josh, but I'll try.
Twitter: JSmooveNBA (unverified)
Born: 12/5/1985 in College Park, GA
Some people may think as College Park as where you get off for the Airport. Actually, only part of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is in College Park, being the size of a city itself most of it is east of College Park. College Park is more though, it's the birthplace of Josh Smith among other things. The city formed as Manchester in 1890 and changed it's name in 1896 because it was home to Cox College and Georgia Military Academy. East-West Avenues in College Park started out named after Ivy League schools (which is a short list). After 4 of them they decided to mix it up a bit with some famed educators and other schools like Cambridge, Oxford, Temple, and Virginia. College Park looks on the rough side and that's backed up by stats. In 2008, College Park had the highest rate of violent crime in Georgia. Some large business call College Park home like Chick-Fil-A and Creflo Dollar's World Changers Church International. Less controversially College Park has spawned some famous citizens like the rapper Ludacris and the former Heisman Trophy winner and current QB for the Carolina Panthers (and my fantasy team) Cam Newton.
Josh did play his senior year of high school at the Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, VA (kind of like going away to college). A lot of NBA players attended Oak Hill Academy like Carmelo Anthony, Steve Blake, Stephen Jackson, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Rajon Rondo, Jerry Stackhouse, and Rod Strickland (many more I won't list). This makes the tidbit that Josh set a single season scoring record at Oak Hill all the more impressive.
Personal Notes: Josh was a member of the Atlanta Celtics AAU team playing along side Dwight Howard and Randolph Morris. Josh may not have the most ink of any Hawk with the addition of DeShawn Stevenson, but he still has the most recognizable tattoo in the form of the old Hawks "Pacman" logo on his arm. Josh quietly gives back a lot to the community (beyond team programs) especially in terms of helping underprivileged during the holidays. According to his profile at nba.com, Josh's favorite movie is the TNT staple Four Brothers. If you haven't seen it, then you probably have never left your TV on TNT after an NBA game. Actually I think it is a good film essentially the Sons of Katie Elder reworked for modern Detroit. The bio also lists Family Guy as Josh's favorite TV show, who doesn't love a chicken fight. A couple of basketball notes for Josh Smith, he was the youngest in the history of the NBA to register 1000 blocks. He is also one of only 4 Hawks to record 200 blocks in a season with Dikembe Mutombo, Tree Rollins, and Theo Ratliff being the others. Last season he was tops in the entire NBA in defense win shares, but didn't make the All-Defensive team because Josh doesn't fair well in popularity contests.
ESPN Top 500 rank: 31 just behind Paul Pierce (29) and Al Horford (30) but just ahead of Rudy Gay (32) and Joe Johnson (33).
basketball-reference.com sponsorship price: $110 - think of this as a Q-rating for basketball. Better known players have hiring rates because in theory their stat page will get visited more often.
Horoscope: As a Sagitarrius I found this free sports horoscope for the year: You resolutely engage your basic energy within the framework of your work, this year. Indeed, you are at the same time tranquillized from the results which you had spring last, and galvanized by those to go still further. The last Jupiter rays encourage you in this direction, and rightly. Your bonds with your superiors s' announce fluid because you will have the art to make circulate your ideas with tact and good sense.
Chinese Zodiac: Born in the year of the ox. People born in this year are probably honest, industrious, patient, and cautious, and do things steadily. They are talent leader with strong will and faith, strong devotion to work and staying power. They are obstinate and poor at communication. Leaders in their career may not discover their abilities.
Outlook for this year: Ox people have average luck in this dragon year. Do not be afraid of the blocks on the way to success. Whenever they encounter a strong competitor in career, they should know flexible ways to overcome the difficulty. Success is not only based on hard working.
Work best with monkeys and horses (none on the roster) and other oxen (Anthony Tolliver, Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro).
Not so good with roosters (Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson), snakes (James Anderson), and goats (John Jenkins).
|Josh Smith||Per Game||Per 36M||rank/478|
|Jump Shots||61%||0.388||Draws Fouls||12.9%|
Quick Analysis: Josh has one of the most analyzed games in the NBA, so I doubt I'll offer much insight. He had a tremendous season just coming up short on the vote for All-NBA 3rd team. Josh really racheted up the rebounding in the absence of Al Horford. Even with Al back it will be important to maintain the rebounding volume as the lineup is weak in rebounding from the guard and small forward positions. A common refrain on Josh is the shot selection and the stats back that up. He shoots jump shots too often and with too low of success rate. Working closer to the basket should improve the efficiency going forward. Even with more responsibility I don't expect Josh's usage numbers to increase. They're already high and hopefully his end of shot clock, safety valve long jumpers will go down replaced by low post opportunities. The stats that surprised me are the Hands Rating and Turnover%. I would have thought both would have been worse, but the stats show that Josh has really good hands. I can only conclude although the mistakes jump out at me because it normally Josh trying to do too much with the ball that he handles it so often that overall he has solid numbers. The rankings are out of 478 players listed on basket-reference.com for last season with no qualifying minimums to provide some context for the numbers.
Hopefully, you feel you know a little more about Josh Smith than before. Let me know what you think in your comments. What about that ESPN ranking? Is this the year Josh finally gets All-Star respect? Will the contract year help Josh's performance or be a distraction? Is Josh ready for the mantle of leadership? Lots of questions to ponder about the face of the Hawks.