Josh Smith continued a string of solid performances Wednesday night narrowly missing out on a triple-double in Atlanta's 104-92 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The timing was perfect for the Hawks who were without both Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia against Charlotte.
Smith went to work inside from the tip scoring 10 of his 30 points in the first quarter. For the game, Smith hit 15-24 attempts to go along with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Smith overpowered the Bobcats inside making 11-14 shots in the paint.
Larry Drew said during his post game scrum that going inside to Smith was a priority and that Smith delivered when called upon.
"We kept it simple once we went inside," Drew said. "Josh is a guy, from a post-up standpoint, he can command a double team. It's just a matter of being patient with that and playing out of it. As I told him, when we post the ball with him I want him to make a play down there. I want him to make the smart play, but more importantly I want him to make the simple play. If he can get to the basket, get to the basket. If the double-team comes, make the simple pass out. He did that and we got some really good looks."
Smith said going into the game that he wanted to play in control and within the offense. For the most part he certainly looked comfortable particularly in high/low situations with Ivan Johnson late in the game.
"I just wanted to play aggressive but also play in the flow of the offense," Smith said. "I didn't want to feel like I had to put pressure on myself on both ends of the court. I was just wanted to keep playing aggressive, but also play under control."
Control is a key word and Smith has been in control since his return from a one-game suspension back on January 16. Following that incident, Smith said he was looking for ways to be more efficient and to just play basketball. All of his many talents were on display against the Bobcats.