Woody said he typically doesn’t listen to broadcasters when reviewing video of games. But he said he heard about Hubie Brown’s critical comments of Josh Smith during Game 2 vs. Orlando on Thursday. Brown, the ex-Hawks coach and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, criticized Smith for failing to hustle back downcourt when he got frustrated by officials’ calls and bad plays.
It’s happened at times this season with Smith, whom Woody said is “still growing as player.” But Woody defended Smith from the outside criticism.
“We see that on tape and we point that out,” he said. “I don’t need Hubie or them guys like that [to do it]. I heard comments today that Hubie was blistering Josh Smith. Well, he can get away with it because he’s coached. But I don’t know if I can let you guys get away with it.
“That is my job as coach to point that out to Smoove and guys like that when they are doing that. And trust me, it don’t go unnoticed. He knows about it at the end of the day. Our tapes are thoroughly broken down and mistakes are pointed out.”
As it turns out, Smoove also watched a replay of the ESPN broadcast. He said he couldn’t sleep when the Hawks returned from Orlando early this morning so he caught the repeat broadcast of the game.
He said he heard some of Brown’s criticisms but shrugged them off.
“I was definitely into it mentally,” he said. “I always speak my peace with the referees. That doesn’t get me out of my game at all. That just makes me play harder to make them call calls.”
Was he sulking when things didn’t go his way?
“Maybe my body language looked different than my [mentality],” he said. “My [mentality] was strong. It was there. I don’t know, maybe I’ve got to lift my shoulders or something?”
Did he allow his frustrations to affect his effort level?
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I am too ahead of the game in my career now where I [would] let little minor things affect me. I think I played a good game yesterday.”
Smith finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists. But he also had five turnovers and took six jump shots from beyond 10 feet with two makes.
Smith’s failure to get back on defense also contributed to Orlando’s success in transition.
“You just teach from the tapes and you hope like hell that they learn from it and when they get in that situation again they get their [butts] back on defense,” Woody said. “Because we were terrible in transition defense. We gave up at least 12, 14 points because we didn’t get back and get matched.”