Josh Smith has been the Atlanta Hawks best player now for the last two seasons, The problem is that the perception of Josh Smith that won’t allow casual fans and media folks to admit this fact. The fact that he has yet to make an All-Star team in his career –while being the most versatile forward in the game not named LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony– is tragic.
Smith is the most versatile defensive player in the NBA currently. He blocks shots at an elite level, and he uses his length and athleticism to stay in front of top notch perimeter guys. He bruises with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love. Sometimes he is given the responsibility of handling Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard on consecutive nights.
The one knock on Smith’s game is that he isn’t a very consistent jump shooter. He is capable. His form is fluid. He just goes through spells where his lack of confidence is most noticeable in the inaccuracy of his jump shot. This leads to claims of poor work ethic, bad attitude, and numerous other labels that have come without warrant.
Despite it all the Hawks front office has remained loyal to Smith. This year he will be given the keys to the city. He will be the first option on offense with the entire left side of the court available for him to operate from the three-point line to the low block.
He will responsible for manning the defense from top to bottom, and called upon to stuff the stat sheets from Points to steals. Look for Smith to be more consistent with his jumper this season as all the confidence he ever needed has been placed in him by the Hawks front office. 2012-2013 will be the season Josh Smith is removed from the snub list and accepted into a the group of the NBA elite as an All-Star, a label he has long deserved.
2012-2013 Projected Stats: 20.1ppg 9.9rpg 4.3apg 2.1bpg 1.7spg
Now those are All-Star-like statistics!