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Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford Injured will Josh Smith Finally Meet Expectations?



The Atlanta Hawks have been a middle of the road team always on the brink of becoming something more than just another playoff team in the NBA. Many fans feel that in order for the Hawks to take the next step they need to trade to underachieving Atlanta native Josh Smith. Underachieving? This is a label that has been unjustifiably placed upon the shoulders of the 6’9” Josh Smith, maybe the fans expectations are just a little skewed because he is an Atlanta native.

Sure Josh Smith is a 1st Round Draft Pick talent from local College Park GA. J-Smoove attended John McEachern High School in the Atlanta area suburb of College Park GA before transferring to Oak Hill Academy. Josh also played next to another Atlanta are native Dwight Howard on summer AAU teams. As an outsider and new resident of Atlanta GA I feel the sentiment that Atlanta fans are used to seeing J-Smoove dominant against local high school talent. Fans feel that his shot selection is misguided; Josh Smith has a reputation for taking “awful” three pointers during times when he should possibly drive to the basket.

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The truth is certain coaches have had the tendency to diagram plays with the wing players staying outside of the perimeter and playing Josh Smith out of position at small forward. Too often he would get caught with the rock in his hands and players rotating the basketball around the perimeter with less than 3 seconds left on the shot clock (someone has to shoot).

While Josh may not be the best perimeter player in the league he has turned into a feasting Hawk in the painted area. Josh Smith continues to be ranked in the top 10 at his position (SF) (PF) in rebounds, assist, steals and blocks. Over his career Josh Smith has averaged 14.7 points per contest while shooting over 46% from the hardwood along with a combined average of 3.5 blocks and steals.

J-Smoove is off to a career best season averaging (career) highs in points 16.8, rebounds 8.8, and 50.6 field goal percentage per contest. The Hawks will continue to rely on his All Star esque campaign with the news of All Star Al Horford’s injury.



In the wake of Al Horford’s injury Josh Smith recorded 30 pts, 13 rebs and shot 63.3% from the court against the Charlotte Bobcats. Expectations are that Josh Smith is going to take on a greater presence as a team leader with the Al Horford injury in place. Heart is measured by what leaders and players do in times of tragedy and this will be the hill Josh Smith has to continue to climb in order to realize his real attributes.

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By: Clenaure Carter
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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