Atlanta Hawks: Q and A with Josh Smith

Vivlamore reporting (from vacation, shhhhh).

Here are five questions I asked of Josh Smith as part of the season preview that will appear in Sunday’s print edition of the AJC.

Q. What are your expectations for the team this year and have they changed since the start of training camp?

A. My expectations are the same expectations I set for this ball club every year and that’s to compete for a championship. I think that we have the talent. We have the cohesiveness. All we have to do is be able to figure out a way to play consistently together on the defensive end. I think when we get that down pat, the sky is the limit for this team.

Q. Would that be the biggest challenge with a revamped roster?

A. We were pretty good defensively the last couple of years. We’ve been pretty solid. We might just be a little undersized. We were undersized before but are very undersized now. But that shouldn’t be an issue. I think that we have a lot of feisty and competitive people on this team that hate to lose. I think that will outweigh the so-called decreases that this team has.

Q. The Hawks will be a smaller team, especially at the small forward position this season. What are the issues defending the position?

A. The 3 is, night in and night out, you are playing a beast at that position. It’s definitely going to be a challenging position for us but at the same time we are a team. The 3 is just one position. Last time I checked there are five positions. We have to be able to help everybody out collectively. One guy is not going to get it done.

Q. Are you comfortable playing small forward? Or would you rather play power forward?

A. I’m a versatile player and coach knows whatever position he puts me at I’m comfortable playing that position. I’m willing and always ready to step up to the challenge.

Q. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this team?

A. The strengths are, offensively, we have a lot of weapons. We have a lot of deep threats. We are very unselfish. For us to being together for a little time, we communicate very well.

The weaknesses are get a little tougher and be a little more competitive on the defensive end consistently.

- Chris Vivlamore


* Video: Hawks still implementing new offense

* Roster breakdown

* Injury update, Petro frustrated

* Many options at small forward

* Offense steps up in win over Mavs

* Teague out versus Mavericks

* Rookies getting noticed

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

43 comments Add your comment


October 25th, 2012
5:07 pm


October 25th, 2012
5:08 pm

We win 45-50 games. Get 3-6 seed in the playoffs. Can Win a playoff series and that is about it. Go Hawks!


October 25th, 2012
5:10 pm

I am so happy to be a hawks fan. Will the season start already!!!!


October 25th, 2012
5:11 pm


October 25th, 2012
5:12 pm

The Hawks will make the playoffs, everything else is cake with this group. I think we will get to the second round also. Josh Smith and Al Horford will own the middle this year.

Jae Evolution

October 25th, 2012
5:19 pm

Andrew Wiggins re-classifies moving from #1 ranked 2014 to #1 ranked 2013.


October 25th, 2012
5:19 pm

The Viv rules.


October 25th, 2012
5:48 pm

Glad to see a happy smoove


October 25th, 2012
6:03 pm

Smoove 4 president!! Glad u ppl FINALLY hoped on his bandwagon


October 25th, 2012
6:10 pm

Word to the bird

steve brown

October 25th, 2012
6:11 pm

Does he plan on staying?


October 25th, 2012
6:28 pm

Don’t ask these questios again….kind of lazy when you could ask questions about stats & events they’re doing around town…we get the undersized question but even the NBA acknowledges it since they are changing the NBA All-Stars ballot

Ken Strickland

October 25th, 2012
6:35 pm

It will be very important that with Teague, Harris and Williams, we’ll be able to effectively run pick and rolls the entire gm. Last yr, we didn’t have that luxury with Teague out of the gm. JJ and Hinrich weren’t very effective at running the pick an roll because neither player was much of a threat to take anyone off the dribble and finish at the rim.


October 25th, 2012
6:37 pm

A lot of teams have announced who they are going to start. I wish we had some clarity. Also, I would not mind Eddie Curry instead of Petro. Actually, any body except that guy.


October 25th, 2012
6:51 pm

Hawks Get Positive Reviews From NBA GM Survey
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
By Micah Hart’s annual GM survey gives some nice insight into how different front offices view their competition around the league. It’s well worth a full read for their thoughts on everything from the best teams to the most underrated players, but here are a few nuggets from the piece that pertain to the Hawks:

NBA GMs peg Atlanta to be the second-best team in the Southeast Division. We joked about it on Twitter yesterday, but if something goes haywire in Miami, nice to know that we’re next in line to reap the spoils.
The Hawks received votes for which team had the best offseason. The Lakers dominated this one thanks to their trade for Dwight Howard and signing of Steve Nash, but I think you could make a long-term case (and I’m sure some of you will) that the Hawks did better than the second-place finisher, the Nets.
Lou Williams checked in at a tie for 4th in the “Most underrated player acquisition” category. Denver’s Andre Iguodala was the top choice, which is surprising to me considering his pedigree. Lou is going to surprise some people this year, I’m telling you. Deliciously, Lou Williams is underrated on a list of most underrated.
Rookie shooting guard John Jenkins received some votes in the “Rookie sleeper” category.
A little shout-out to the Hawks’ bench, as new assistant Kenny Atkinson received votes for the NBA’s best assistant coach.
No surprise here, Kyle Korver received some votes for the NBA’s best pure shooter, and finished tied for 3rd in “Best at moving without the ball”. Watching him work his way through screens is one of the things I’m most excited for this season.
Josh Smith received votes for the NBA’s best finisher. If the category was “Most dunks off the opening tip,” I bet he’d have finished at the top.
Finally, the NBA’s toughest player question saw Zaza Pachulia draw some votes. If you saw him get up after spraining his ankle against the Hornets and dive for a loose ball on the very next possession, you know it’s well deserved.


October 25th, 2012
6:51 pm

GO HAWKS! You tell em Josh! We going place this year and your’ leading us there! Do you enjoy basketball? Do you worship Josh Smith? Wanna win your’ own copy of 2k13? Then check out!


October 25th, 2012
7:44 pm

Smoove for All-Star. With that rule change, he’s gonna have to have down year to miss the selection again (knock on wood)


October 25th, 2012
8:14 pm

I predict (and hope) this is the last trainincamp we go into with Josh Smith as our starting PF.


October 25th, 2012
8:20 pm

Smoove looks so much happier out there playing this year, its like hes a little kid again. I think he’s really excited for this team and the future of the Hawks, and I hope he can stay here and enjoy it with us fans for years to come!

Just Joe

October 25th, 2012
8:28 pm

Today the starting backcourt for the Bucks of Ellis and Jennings combined to take 25 shots only to score a total of 11 pts. They also combined for 6 assists and 6 turnovers.

Meanwhile, Kemba Walker, while playing against them, scored 20 pts and dished out 7 assists with no turnovers.

What’s your predictions for the Bucks this year?


October 25th, 2012
9:40 pm

Hahaha…love it how Josh says they are very unselfish. Hey Joe, that one was for you!

Buddy Grizzard

October 25th, 2012
10:23 pm

Jae Evolution, lottery picks in the 2014 draft are worth more than pure gold sir.

Buddy Grizzard

October 25th, 2012
10:24 pm

Dr. Warren

October 25th, 2012
10:35 pm

Runner — It’s a contract year for Josh. That is probably the best explanation for what you’ve observed.


October 25th, 2012
11:29 pm

Sorry but if Zaza appears on any list other than most illegal screens or 3sec violation, the survey loses all of its credibility.

Harry Hawk

October 26th, 2012
2:34 am

Q: Stop taking so many jumpers?

A: No.


October 26th, 2012
6:42 am

The questions were good, and the answers were all intelligent. Is Smith finally in his right mind? Seems to be. Wow!


October 26th, 2012
8:32 am

Love Josh Smith. My favorite Hawk since ‘Nique.


October 26th, 2012
8:53 am

We better be the second best team in our division when the other two teams are Orlando and Charlotte.

just me

October 26th, 2012
8:57 am

These Hawks are mainly made up of “cast-offs” and are poorly coached. Don’t know why anyone would expect them to make the play-offs. Smith says they are “unselfish”. To me this means he wants everyone to pass him the ball so he can launch rainbow 3’s from the corner. This year could get ugly.

Mike is Back

October 26th, 2012
8:59 am

GO JOSH GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 26th, 2012
9:06 am

Smith is extremely talented, but also extremely frustrating. Along with Paul Pierce and Dwight Howard, he is one of the biggest crybabies in the NBA. Ever notice how elite players get all the calls in their favor? If Josh would stop pouting and whining out on the floor, he could probably get some ticky-tack fouls to go the Hawks way. Stop shooting anything outside the free throw line extended and he’d dominate.


October 26th, 2012
9:07 am

Oh yea…stop trying to be a point guard too. Too many pointless turnovers!

Ken Strickland

October 26th, 2012
9:19 am

If Drew selects DJames or JSmith at SF rather than going with his stated SF by committee approach, this could develop into a very competitive team that will not only make the playoffs but make some playoff noise. With Korver, Morrow, Jenkins, Harris, Williams, Horford, and Teague, I don’t know of any team that can match our overall combination of speed, quickness, athleticism, shooting and penetrating ability.

With no clearcut star or go to guy on our roster, it’s going to take some serious and consistent coaching to get the most out of what this roster has to offer. Our coaching staff won’t have to teach or devlop the shooting of Morrow, Korver, Jenkins, Scott, Tolliver or Horford, or the penetrating ability of Teague, Harris, and Williams. The key will be how effectively and consistently LDrew and his staff take advantage of the attributes of these players.

The combination of speed, quickness and athleticism in the open court, coupled with our shooting and penetrating ability in halfcourt, can be a deadly effective combination. Having no clearcut superstar or go to player, and incorporating so many talented players with so many simularities in certain areas, means it will take time to develop chemistry among players and coaching staff.


October 26th, 2012
9:49 am



So are you saying if Marvin averages 16 and 8 for Utah, you still wont have any remorse :smile:


October 26th, 2012
9:52 am

If Josh plays to his strengths consistently, his name will be mentioned again for all-star selection. When all is said and done however, I don’t think he will make the team because of the amount of forwards in the East (and maybe some politics too).


October 26th, 2012
10:45 am

For a No. 2 overall pick, 16 and 8, not capable of demanding and making the last shot … no regrets at all. Bye, Marv.


October 26th, 2012
10:52 am

Josh wants a championship…and I want a PONY!!

bird watcher

October 26th, 2012
11:00 am

I love Smoove as a player. He is one of my favorite Hawks of all time. he plays with great effort and intensity every night. I pray that the hawks new GM keeps him long term. He may quite possibly be the most underated player in the league. he carried this team with AL out last season and can envision him doing the same this yr. I actually really like the make-up of this team, cahmp caliber they are not yet but they will be really fun to watch if nothing else. If they make the playoffs they have a chance to make a little noise because they ought to be able to out run the old teams in the east


October 26th, 2012
12:01 pm

i agree with josh smith but danny ferry need to find a no. 5 to play the center position especially on the defensive end blocking shots and rebounding.on offense who is a tremendous low post player to free up al horford to play the power forward position.they have everything else needed. za za pachulia is not the answer. he plays too soft and gets pushed around by smaller guards.he also takes plays off.he only played against kevin garnett by there”s more centers in the league than garnett

Supreme Grand Poobah

October 26th, 2012
6:52 pm

cdog – you’re complaining about Pachulia taking plays off? At least he bothers to move down court. Smith on more than a few occasions has chosen not to get back on defense.


October 27th, 2012
7:37 am

I am just sooooooooo glad that Joe Johnson will now be displaying his double teamed fade away jump shot to the Nets.

That was a huge and smart trade for Danny Ferry. With the cap room he now has, I really look for this team to really get better starting next year. I think this will be a good year, but the best is yet to come.


October 27th, 2012
8:00 am

Getting rid of the Joe Johnson albatross contract ranks up there as one of the greatest moves we have seen in ATL. I didn’t think it was possible.