Atlanta Hawks: Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

Hawks forward Josh Smith has never been named to an NBA All-Star team despite impressive career numbers. CURTIS COMPTON/ccompton@ajc.com

Hawks forward Josh Smith has never been named to an NBA All-Star team despite impressive career numbers. CURTIS COMPTON/ccompton@ajc.com

Vivlamore reporting.

Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

Despite all-around career statistics few in NBA history have reached, the Hawks forward has never been chosen for the All-Star Game. He has not been voted in by fans, selected by coaches nor named a replacement by the league.

Through his eight-plus year career, Smith is on the verge of becoming just the 24th player in NBA history to reach the milestones of 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. The 23 players who reached those marks, including nine Hall of Famers, combined to appear in 184 All-Star Games. Only one, Mychal Thompson, never made an all-star appearance.

In Smith’s 624 career games, he has averaged 15.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only player in league history with career averages over 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals.

Steve Smith, the former Hawks player and broadcaster and current analyst for NBA TV, said Smith being left off the All-Star team is a “travesty.”

In a series of interviews with NBA executives, coaches, players, analysts and support personnel, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined the question of why Smith has never represented the Eastern Conference in the midseason exhibition featuring basketball’s top players. The inquiry revealed a number of possible reasons ­­- some of Smith’s own doing, some out if his control.

Smith doesn’t figure to be voted in by the fans as a starter. He is competing at forward with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh and now Carmelo Anthony – all high-profile, high-scoring fan favorites. James has been a starter for all eight games that Smith has been in the league taking away one spot. He and Garnett were the starting forwards for three straight years (2008-10). With the Knicks adding Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony from the Western Conference, starters with James the past two years, the competition for votes is tougher than ever for a player who has never selected.

In the first balloting results released by the league, Smith is eighth among front-court players with 69,344 votes. He trails the leader James by 572,000 votes and is just ahead of the Sixers’ Andrew Bynum, who hasn’t played a game this season.

Coaches, who name the All-Star reserves, have ignored Smith. One reason could be the early-career reputation that Smith developed especially playing under then-Hawks coach Mike Woodson. While other players had run-ins with Woodson, several of Smith’s were highly-publicized.

Coaches may also be influenced by some of Smith’s on-court reaction to officiating. Smith’s scowl and sometimes overt actions certainly look bad. Many of the head men from the early part of Smith’s career are still in the league with the same or different teams in NBA’s often-limited coaching carousel.

“He has the ability,” said Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, who noted he was unaware Smith has never been an All-Star. “He has the production. He’s been successful enough to have been an All-Star at some point.”

The league had two prime opportunities to name Smith a replacement and passed. David Lee was named in 2010 and Rajon Rondo was named in 2012. Lee, a forward, was named to replace guard Allen Iverson. Last season is the most troubling for the Hawks and Smith’s camp. When the Hawks’ lone representative Joe Johnson pulled out of the game with left knee tendonitis, the Commissioner David Stern opted for Rondo, a guard, instead of another Atlanta player.

Johnson’s career in Atlanta also hurt Smith. The guard made six straight All-Star games as a Hawk. When center Al Horford was named to the team in 2010 and 2011, before missing the game with an injury last season, the Hawks were unlikely to have three representatives.

“In the past year’s I’ve put up All-Star quality numbers,” Smith said. “I always seem to fall short. I think it impacts the people around me more so than me like my parents, my family, my friends. They feel like I’m deserving of that opportunity at least once or twice in my career. They see the things that people normally don’t see. They see the offseason workouts. All the energy I put into that in order to be a better person, be a better player. They see all the ups and downs of the season. They experience all that. They understand. They see me and they see all the struggles. They want it more. I definitely want it. I definitely want it, don’t get me wrong. I want to do it for them.”

The Hawks style of play in recent years was suggested as something that works against Smith. The offense was looked at as a half-court system that promotes isolation plays, mostly running through Johnson. With the trade of Johnson, the Hawks are emphasizing an up-tempo style.

While the Hawks have made the playoffs the past five seasons, their failure to get past the second round could also have affected Smith’s selection. National attention comes with deep postseason runs.

While Smith puts up impressive numbers in several statistical categories, not everything the forward does appears in a boxscore. Smith can guard several positions and he influences many opposing shots as a help defender.

Over the course of this career, Smith’s numbers tend to get better as the season progresses. Each year, from November to April, Smith’s monthly-averages in points and rebounds per game get better with just a few exceptions. All-Star voting and selections occur in the first three months of the season.

One statistic that works against Smith is his shooting percentage. For a player who excels around the rim, Smith’s jump shooting adversely affects his numbers. He has shot over 50 percent from the field only once in his career (2009-10). An ill-timed jump shot can be accentuated by the ensuing groans from fans after a miss. For his career, Smith is shooting 28.3 percent (221 of 782) from 3-point range.

Smith, who jumped directly from high school to the NBA, has been a regular starter throughout his career. It has taken time for the 26-year old to mature into the player he is today from a basketball sense. A case can be made that only Smith’s statistics the past two seasons are All-Star quality.

“I always say you have to do it twice,” TNT analyst Kenny Smith said. “I say 8 out of 10 guys have to do it twice. He’s in that 8 out of 10. Having one great year followed by another great first half of a year. I think that he’s done that this year so he’ll be on.”

The starters for this season’s All-Star game, to be played Feb. 17 in Houston, will be announced Jan. 17. The naming of the reserves by coaches will follow in several weeks.

For Smith, the wait continues.

- Chris Vivlamore

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167 comments Add your comment

vava74

December 25th, 2012
5:46 am

FTPB,

Buddy,

I prefer to look at strength of schedule from my own perspective:

We have not played the Spurs, the Lakers, the Knicks, the Celts, the Nets, only played the Sixers, the Bulls and the Pacers once.

Still have to play MIA twice.

That’s about 20 something tough games still to be played.

Of our wins, we already had multiple wins against CHA and WIZ which clearly inflates our record.

Heck, we only had just over a handful of meaningful wins: MEM, LAC, DEN, OKC, IND and CHI and of these…

OKC was still getting their line up aligned, ditto for IND, we caught MEM a bit off guard and just before they went into a 5 game funk (which could indicate that they were too confident), the LAC have talent but have a fool on the bench who could not get past our zone D, CHI were exhausted and emotionally drained and Denver is not a particularly impressive team to start with.

Give me some wins against MIA, BOS, NYK, CHI (rested and with Rose) and IND (now that they seem to have adjusted to the new line up and when Granger is back) and even PHI.

If we win 50% of those matches, I will be impressed. Until then, I still think we are bound for a 38-42 win season and a couple of 6 or 7 games losing streaks are lurking.

vava74

December 25th, 2012
5:47 am

As for the people around here who are looking into bringing Derrick Williams whilst thinking that it would cost us only a bit player like Morrow, I think you are banking too much on Khan’s idiocy.

It’s not impossible that Minny’s GM is that stupid, but I think there might be 50 better offers in the league for a player like Derrick whose potential is significant and that could still go either way: bust or star (but no longer superstar).

vava74

December 25th, 2012
5:49 am

and…

Merry Christmas everyone!

vava74

December 25th, 2012
5:58 am

As for next season:

I would go all in on Pekovic. He is the best option for us out there.

Not as skilled as Jefferson, but he is aggressive and imposes respect in the paint.

Jefferson is all offense.

Admiral SnAckbar

December 25th, 2012
7:56 am

Z is the key.
LD gotta get Z ballin and the rest will fall in line.

Ray

December 25th, 2012
8:32 am

@ Vava74

While you think certain teams have inflated the record. I’ll take that plus close losses then being completely blown out by a team.

Only two teams that have completely blown the doors off of us is Sixers and LAC.

Most impressive win of the season LAC second time that’s the type of team the hawks can be when they dominate everywhere.

Hawks fan

December 25th, 2012
8:41 am

For all of you people who are begging for D. Williams, better recognize he is a BUST! Another Marvin Williams! We dont need or should not want him! Chemistry is important and this team has it. I see 46 to 52 wins out of this team! We better enjoy this team because these are not your Joe Johnson Hawks!

Admiral SnAckbar

December 25th, 2012
8:56 am

Golden State the second time was a bad loss.

BaghdadHawk

December 25th, 2012
9:02 am

@vava74

Wins are wins. You can make all the excuses you want. Obviously you are included in the bunch that doomed us to have no shot at the playoffs. Instead we are 3rd in the East, after dismantling the 4th place team. This team can play with anyone, as the wins you choose to dismiss show. And the future is bright, with the cap space and flexibilty we have going forward.

And yes, Josh Smith is an All Star. Hawks fans, go online and VOTE!!

Rev in Tampa

December 25th, 2012
9:57 am

C-Viv for blog pulitzer. The article ranks right up there with MC’s article which called LD out for giving Teague the Rook treatment: http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2010/12/28/atlanta-hawks-on-drew-and-teague/

keith

December 25th, 2012
10:28 am

In prior years, Josh Smith was an all-star, and regrettably left off those teams! However, Clearly, his play and numbers “this season” does not “Quantify” or Qualify for a spot on this years’ all-star Team!. I love Joshs’ athleticism, love his passion, love his energy, however, he is clearly the 3rd or 4th option on any Basketball team.

Merry Christmas Josh(if you are reading this) Merry Christmas EVERYONE and may God Bless you all!!!

Joey

December 25th, 2012
10:37 am

Josh is an All-Star whether or not he gets voted in. He gets a bad rap for pouting and pleading with the refs – that’s his only downside. The only surprise in a Hawks game now is when he DOESN’T get those averages.

Josh has been a consistant player for years now, and still he can’t get ATL fans to get out the vote for him. Hawks fans will realize next year what they had, after he’s gone.

glw

December 25th, 2012
10:40 am

@vava74

I concur with your point about the Hawks, not really havent played the Spurs, Lakers, Nets, Celtics. You are right, those games will tell a lot about this team this season and the potential of it.

But not sure what you are getting at as far as the meaningful wins. You label them meaningful, but then offer up excuses as to why those teams might have lost those games.

Lets look at those excuses to why those teams lost to the Hawks.

1. Oklahoma City- it was early and they were just getting tryingto get their parts together? WEll you can say that about 75% of the teams in the league. The Hawks are incorporating 8 or 9 new players. And we played without arguably our best player in Josh.

2. We caught Memphis off guard? They had the best record in the league. Maybe the Hawks beating them gave everyone else a blueprint of what they can do to beat them.

3. Chicago was emotionally drained? Sure they had played the night before in New York, but it wasnt like the Hawks were resting the night before. They had a road game in Philly that evening , and am sure Hawks got in town about the same time as the Bulls.

This is the NBA, wins are wins, sure their are games that are almost impossible to win, but you never know in this league. Golden State played the night before on the last night of a 7 or 8 game road stand, they had every reason to pack it in against the Hawks who were rested and waiting. That was the recipe for an easy Hawks victory at home, but what happened, the Hawks got ran off the court. Of all their games, that is the most troubling one for me.

keith

December 25th, 2012
10:50 am

“JOSH SMITH IS NO ALL-STAR THIS YEAR” REPOST!!!

In prior years, Josh Smith was an all-star, and regrettably left off those teams! However, Clearly, his play and numbers “this season” does not “Quantify” or Qualify for a spot on this years’ all-star Team!. I love Joshs’ athleticism, love his passion, love his energy, however, he is clearly the 3rd or 4th option on any Basketball team.

Merry Christmas Josh(if you are reading this) Merry Christmas EVERYONE and may God Bless you all!!!

steve brown

December 25th, 2012
11:21 am

Keith said it all.

Rev in Tampa

December 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

Somebody needs to ask Jerry Stackhouse about LD’s coaching and conditioning. Last year Stack looked like an old man on the court, but now he is helping to carry the Nets. Maybe it will shed some light on why LD treats Ivan the way he does.

keith

December 25th, 2012
1:18 pm

“NEED FOR A GO TO GUY”

The Atlanta Hawks are a very “balanced” basketball team. However, going forward, you need at least one “Superstar”. When things go horribly wrong, we do not have that “one guy” who can get buckets when we need one!!!

Chris Vivlamore

December 25th, 2012
1:40 pm

Rev: Definitely on that next month.

EmirS.

December 25th, 2012
1:46 pm

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Luv Josh Smith

December 25th, 2012
1:49 pm

Very good article Chris!
Yes Josh is an All-Star. He was snubbed last year when he built his strongest case. He should be picked over Garnett and Bosh. His defense is under appreciated and he is an excellent passer.
FG% and FT% and not up to last years output, but he is clearly the Hawks best player.

Art Vandelay

December 25th, 2012
1:59 pm

The #1 reason Smith hasn’t been named to the All-Star team is that he simply doesn’t “get it.” Eight years into his career, he continues hoisting long jumpers and 3-pointers when he’s clearly a horrible outside shot (28.3 percent for his career, yet he’s shot 782 3-pointers and who knows how many horrible long twos!!) and no real prospects for improving it. He’s got all the physical tools of LeBron, but half of the basketball intellect. If Josh would just listen to his coaches (and everyone who knows even a little about basketball) and stay down in the post where he’s almost unstoppable, he would be a 55% shooter and average 20 ppg. Unfortunately, he sees himself as some sort of hybrid 2-3-4, when in reality he should be more of a 4-5 (yes, I think he could actually hold his own at center if needed). It’s a shame, because he really is an incredible talent and despite the pouting, an all-around good guy and solid member of the community. I hope one day he figures it all out, because it would be a joy to watch. Until then, we’ll continue having this discussion every year.

tyger

December 25th, 2012
2:07 pm

Josh is defacto a 3x All-star…

Barnum & Bailey circus aka NBA, stiffs him every year…
Defacto?
Would you trade Josh, straight up, for less than an Allstar?

2k Simulation:
Hawks w/ Gasol/Amare/Horford/Lou/Korver go 2-1 v SA/LAL/MIA…

Art Vandelay

December 25th, 2012
2:10 pm

And Joey, it’s not enough for Atlanta fans to vote Josh in. Fans around the country have to see a reason to vote for him, too, and he just hasn’t given them enough reason to choose him over the huge stars he’s competing with for the frontcourt spots.

High-sider

December 25th, 2012
2:11 pm

@vava74

“…the LAC have talent but have a fool on the bench who could not get past our zone D…” – vava74 @5:21am, 12/25/2012

Is that “fool” (on the Clippers’ bench) Coach (Vinny) Del Negro or Jamal Crawford? Please be advised that the Clippers (team) has won 13 consecutive games.

http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Cnf.html

doc

December 25th, 2012
2:38 pm

Though it has never worked out for josh, he is our all star. Simply pit he gets the most votes for our team’s players each year. It desnt translate to a position because of how things are run by stern and the league. Josh is our top vote for all star and in the fans eyes, he is the best.

He has also been his own worst enemy in getting there by his actions against refs and forgetting to play on and leave us defenseless because of his egoistic self. Coaches see it and that is not team play coaches reward. He is not a superstar so he needs to plat by other rules if e wants or expects to make it beyond fandom adulation.

High Sider just got to two blogs ago. :-) nothing but respect bro. You know it.

Slimj hope you enjoy it if you get around to it, it is quirky, funny, about craziness, football thrown in and love winning out in the end. Bradley Cooper may pull at least an oscar nom for it. Edgy and good.

justahawkfan

December 25th, 2012
2:48 pm

The Nba want Josh on a big market team, that is why he or the hawks are never talked about on the either of the network shows. Magic Johnson keep putting trade ideas out there about Josh to Lakers for Gasol hoping the we will fall for it. Every week there are rumors placed out there about us trading Josh. If he is traded to or leaves for a large market team he will become a superstar and an all star immediately. Bank it!!

High-sider

December 25th, 2012
3:06 pm

“Unfortunately, he sees himself as some sort of hybrid 2-3-4, when in reality he should be more of a 4-5…” – Art Vandelay @1:59pm, 12/25/2012

How about (he, Josh Smith, sees himself as some sort of) a 1-2-3-4 hybrid with emphasis on the “ONE” (1)? I wish he (Josh Smith) and Al Horford would give the ball up to the guards after retrieving the defensive rebound(s). Neither player is a “‘Magic’ Johnson” or [a(n)] “LBJ” in the ball handling/playmaking “department.”

In all fairness, if this (Hawks) team maintains the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference at the close of the All-Star voting/selection process and if Josh Smith has the Hawks’ best (all-around) individual stats, then it would be fitting for Josh Smith to represent the Hawks as an Eastern Conference All-Star (team member) this (up)coming February (2013).

Justahawkfan

December 25th, 2012
3:07 pm

If he leaves for one of those teams he will get those calls that don’t go his way now. He won’t have to argue with the officials, the scowl will leave his face and he will get all the endorsement he wants. Come to thinks of it, why would he want to stay.

doc

December 25th, 2012
3:07 pm

Nets are not a very god team. Any team having to use stackhouse 18mpg in over 1/2 of its games has very poor depth. Yes he was a hawks last year but played in only 30 games total and avg 9 mpg in doing so. They are critically thin and if deron doesnt find his mojo quickly or heh heh jj put them on his shoulders it could get real ugly. Like close to charlotte ugly.

My sleeper in the second half is denver who has played over 2/3 of their games on the road. If they get comfy at home look out.

My other sleeper is the hawks. If they continue to play this type of ball it could be impressive. I loked ahead. I am not saying they will win them all but there are very few, no way they can compete with these guys type games the way the rest of the league is stacking up now. Very few miami or knicks like teams on the schedule, spurs? I dont consider the celts unbeatable nor the lakers so it could be fun to watch these guys more as they hopefully get better.

High sider havent dsabled autocap yet on my ipad. Heh heh

High-sider

December 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

Slimjr,

Are your Knicks’ players wearing (some sort of) orange “fluorescent” unis (against the Lakers)? Wow!

High-sider

December 25th, 2012
3:27 pm

doc,

I respect you (too), Najeh Davenpoop, DawgNole, HawkFan, all other bloggers (even BravesFan79). As usual, I get “carried away.” [LOL]

Happy Holidays to all.

High-sider

December 25th, 2012
3:30 pm

^Correction: “…DawgNole, HawkFan [and]* all other bloggers (even BravesFan79).”

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
4:07 pm

@ Keith – you don’t know what the hell you talking about. You and your booty partner Steve Brown, don’t know Basketball. Name an eastern conference allstar at forward not named Lebron or Melo, that deserves to be an all star before Josh. And don’t just throw out scoring numbers, be prepared for me to counter with scoring, rebound, assists, steals, blocks and overall defense as well as team record. CHUMPS!

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
4:12 pm

@ Art Vandelay – you spent all that time contrasting Josh to Lebron, when there is one Lebron, but 11 other spots on the eastern conference allstar squad. you just a hater, josh must have it your girl or something.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
4:36 pm

I remember most of these same clowns saying Joe was more important to this franchise than Josh, some even said Marvin was more valuable to the hawks, now look at Joe’s current team. Marvin can hardly stay on the court, he’s so bad in Utah. Utah’s gm probably can’t wait to catch Ferry in a dark alley somewhere for duping him like that. But still you idiots will search and pull any lame reasoning at of your a$$ to hate on Josh and try to deny him. You haters are just sad! And on Christmas no less.

Art Vandelay

December 25th, 2012
4:44 pm

Actually, Bernie, if you’d bother reading what I wrote, you’d see that I mentioned LeBron in exactly one sentence, and that was to compare their athletic gifts (similar) and understanding of the game (not at all similar). Maybe you need to freshen up on your 8th grade reading comprehension lessons and stop badmouthing every poster who says something you don’t like. Looks like you spent from 4:00 to 4:36 writing a total of about 10 sentences, none of which say anything constructive at all.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
4:55 pm

If by constructive you mean tearing down the guy who has this team at 3rd place in the conference, then no. i don’t know how to say anything constructive. But speaking of 8th grade education, you should look up the definition of constructive, then look up the word destructive, then think again about which category, your post falls in. SUCKER!

Jamaaliver

December 25th, 2012
4:57 pm

Reasons Josh hasn’t been an All-Star:

Bad Attitude
Poor Shot Selection
Bad Decision Making with the Ball

He’s played well most of this calendar year. Last year Rondo deserved to be the replacement. (Leading the league in assists earns you that right.)

This year Smith has played well in spurts. It’s up to the coaches more than anything. Josh still argues with his coaches and scowls at referees. Takes plays off to complain and pouts on the bench.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
5:09 pm

Josh’s biggest mistake was coming into this league from high school and getting drafted by the hawks at 17, which was after Josh Childress, who is where now? If Josh goes to Indiana and dominates the NCAA for a year or 2, he comes into this league as a top 3 pick, and David Stern and the team he plays for takes a much different approach at marketing him. For goodness sakes Blake Griffin can only dunk and plays no defense, and you people come to Phillips arena and chear for him like he’s Dr. J.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, especially if you don’t know basketball and just listen to the pundits.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 25th, 2012
5:17 pm

FTPB

“if anything lin takes too much responsibility for his efforts and is very hard on himself. with one game if 38 pts in one game before the knicks game he said he was playing terrible this year
true stand up guy who will prove his worth and more stand up than 90%. compare uim to a guyvwith same experience as horford in conley is folly and you know it for a point guard.”

All I’m saying is that his undrafted status shouldn’t matter anymore now that his value has been recalibrated by the market. He shouldn’t be compared to other undrafted players anymore; he should be compared to other players who get paid $8 million a year (or who would get paid $8 million a year if not for the first round salary scale). Everything else you say may or may not be true.

I will point out, though, that his 38 point game came when Harden was injured. I think it’s clear that he can score, but it’s still a pretty wide open question whether a) he can score on a consistently winning team and b) whether he can run an offense like an NBA PG. As you know there are plenty of players in NBA history who could score a lot of points on losing teams but couldn’t do so on winning teams or adjust their games to make teammates better.

Art Vandelay

December 25th, 2012
5:18 pm

Once again, Bernie: your inability to understand basic English is both disheartening and hilarious at the same time. If you’d please take a moment (or several moments, in your case) to re-read what I wrote, you’d see the following statement: “…he really is an incredible talent and despite the pouting, an all-around good guy and solid member of the community. I hope one day he figures it all out, because it would be a joy to watch.”

Now, where did I “tear down the guy who has this team at 3rd place in the conference,” as you claim? And when are you going to actually say something that contributes to the conversation, instead of just calling people names because you disagree with us? My original comment clearly stated that Josh would be a no-brainer All Star selection if he would just stick to his strengths, but you chose to ignore that and focus only on the fact that I’m not willing to call.him the Greatest Hawk of All Time like you apparently think everyone should. Grow up and stop being such a whiny punk for a change.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 25th, 2012
5:25 pm

“If we win 50% of those matches, I will be impressed. Until then, I still think we are bound for a 38-42 win season and a couple of 6 or 7 games losing streaks are lurking.”

Haha @ “matches”. It’s hard to remember sometimes that you are foreign but sometimes it slips through.

One thing I’ll add to what you said: some bad teams impact strength of schedule a lot worse than others. I think it’s fair to say that Detroit and Washington, for example, both qualify as “bad”. If the Hawks lost to either team it would be very disappointing. But Washington, at .120, is going to impact strength of schedule more than twice as much as Detroit, at .300. A team with a lot of games against the Wizards is going to look like they have had a much easier schedule than a team with an equal number of games against Detroit, even though both schedules in reality are about equally easy.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
5:32 pm

Not the greatest of all time, just the best in the last 5 years when you wanted that title to go to Joe “choke” Johnson. your comments about sticking to his strengths, show that you are biased even while tryin to hide it. You can’t say anything bad personaly about him in the community or getting in trouble because he sticks to his own and doesn’t pander to the northside community. That’s yall real issue with him. Afterall, what player in the league does not take a bad shot sometimes, but I would venture to say that if the bad shots came as often as you people try to make them out, again we would not be in 3rd place in the conference. SUCKER!

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
5:43 pm

Okay Vandelay, let’s approach it from your supposed angle. 16.6ppg, 8.2pp, 3.5apg, 2 bpg, 1.42spg. .366% from beyond the arc. Only taking 15 shots per game. Al next at 13 shots a game. Now, exactly what area of his game would like him to play more to his strengths as you say.
See, the numbers are like the ball “they don’t lie”. so don’t talk to me about a bad shot now and again. Stick to the numbers if you know the game. See alot of people who can afford good seats at the arena think they know the game. NOT!
And keep in mind these numbers are on a winning team, cause anyone can get numbers for a losing team, cause after all someone has to score, and the ball will find your hand for a rebound or 2 even on a losing squad, but such is not the case here. And ya’ll can no longer give Joe the credit.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 25th, 2012
5:45 pm

“Eight years into his career, he continues hoisting long jumpers and 3-pointers when he’s clearly a horrible outside shot (28.3 percent for his career, yet he’s shot 782 3-pointers and who knows how many horrible long twos!!) and no real prospects for improving it. ”

Dwyane Wade is a career 29% 3 point shooter and has jacked up 1131 of them in his career, including three years when he was over 2.5 attempts per game. Poor shot selection didn’t stop him from being selected for the team over and over again. Neither did it stop Rasheed Wallace, Stephon Marbury, and other lesser players who also had shot selection issues.

“He’s got all the physical tools of LeBron, but half of the basketball intellect. ”

LeBron has physical strength and ball skills that Josh can only dream of having.

This is the biggest thing that has kept Josh out of the All Star game in my opinion — unrealistic expectations. There is a large contingent of fans (and maybe even coaches and personnel people) who think anyone that can jump out of the gym has unlimited potential. That is plainly and simply false. Ball skills and physical ability are two entirely different things. Josh has amazing athleticism but his ball skills are average. (Great passer for his position; mediocre ball handler and shooter.) LeBron has amazing athleticism AND amazing ball skills, and that has been the case since his first game in the league.

“If Josh would just listen to his coaches (and everyone who knows even a little about basketball) and stay down in the post where he’s almost unstoppable, he would be a 55% shooter and average 20 ppg.”

a) Josh has one, maybe two, reliable post moves. He is nowhere near “unstoppable” in the post. He is the best low post player on this team, but that is only because this team hasn’t had a low post player since Shareef Abdur-Rahim (and he wasn’t a stellar low post player either).

b) LD has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want Josh in the low post all the time, or else he wouldn’t be running plays for him to get the ball 18 feet away from the basket. The deadly high-low game that Josh and Al have had going for them this year starts with Josh getting the ball inside the free throw line circle. And it’s not just Josh that LD has in this area — even Zaza and Ivan routinely find themselves there.

“Unfortunately, he sees himself as some sort of hybrid 2-3-4, when in reality he should be more of a 4-5 (yes, I think he could actually hold his own at center if needed).”

More like the Hawks use him in ways that push the limits of his ability because there isn’t a better player on this roster. In the 2009-10 season, Josh’s most efficient season of his career, he was used as a glorified role player. The consequence of that, though, was that Joe was used beyond the limits of his ability. And the consequence of this was that anyone who could shut down Joe could shut down the Hawks’ offense. The last two years, with Joe’s skills declining (and now with him gone), Josh is the guy who gets used beyond his ability. If Josh were traded tomorrow, Al would probably be that guy, and his shot selection would get worse and percentages would decline accordingly.

In the NBA, someone has to be a #1 option. For the last two years on the Hawks, that someone has been Josh. Josh does not have the talent to be a #1 option but he is forced into that role due to the composition of the roster. Using shot selection as a reason for excluding someone from the All Star game is foolish without considering that player’s role and responsibilities. Bottom line is for the last two years Josh has been the best player on a playoff team and one of the premier defenders in the league. There is no good reason to leave him off, especially in favor of lesser players with fewer responsibilities like Roy Hibbert or Luol Deng (who made it over him last year).

Najeh Davenpoop

December 25th, 2012
5:54 pm

“Fans around the country have to see a reason to vote for him, too, and he just hasn’t given them enough reason to choose him over the huge stars he’s competing with for the frontcourt spots.”

Nothing is going to give them that reason as long as the Hawks are ignored by the national media. Andrew Bynum is one spot behind Josh and the only reason he has given fans to vote him is his hair.

Don’t get me wrong, there are several valid reasons to criticize Josh’s game. But the All Star game is about picking the best players. If an inferior player makes it over Josh, he is a snub, period. Whatever criticisms there are of Josh have to be considered in the context of the valid criticisms of the players who make it ahead of him. And when 7′2″ centers who rebound worse than Josh, shoot under 50%, and shoulder less than half Josh’s responsibility make it over him, there is something wrong with the process.

Please Answer This

December 25th, 2012
6:02 pm

Why do any of you care whether or not Josh is selected to an exibition game? What is in it for you ? How could his selection possibly affect the outcome of the Hawks current season?

Please ! Someone help me to understand this mysterious, but obvious preoccupation with this ALL-Star selection stuff.

I’m completely in the dark as to what relevance this game has to do with the Atlanta Hawks or the quality of any of your lives.

Please fill me in.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 25th, 2012
6:03 pm

“Josh still argues with his coaches and scowls at referees. Takes plays off to complain and pouts on the bench.”

Rondo argues with his coaches, argues with his GM, scowls at referees (like everyone else in the league), pouts, feuds with his teammates, picks fights with opponents and gets suspended and costs his team games, and still goes to the All Star game over and over again. And if you think he pouts on the bench, you should buy some 100 level tickets some time. Dude is the first one out of his seat cheering when the second unit does something spectacular.

Bernie Matt

December 25th, 2012
6:08 pm

@ pleas answer this- if it matters not to you, why are you posting here, IDIOT! Me personally, I got a new laptop today and am test driving it and posting on a subject of interest to me. But again, if you could care less, why are you here, STUPID!