Josh Smith gets snubbed big-time for All-Star team (updated)

Josh Smith is averaging 15.6 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

Josh Smith has averaged 15.6 points, nine rebounds and two blocks during Hawks' 17-9 start. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

Josh Smith showed up at training camp with a changed body (a career-slim 225 pounds) and a seemingly changed attitude (“I’m seeing and hearing a passion I haven’t seen before,” observed his coach, Larry Drew).

The difference has been apparent to anybody who has watched him for most of this season — but apparently not to the coaches who select NBA All-Star reserves.

Smith wasn’t named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team Thursday night. That makes eight consecutive years he hasn’t been honored. Most of those seasons, nobody could argue. But this season’s omission is a huge injustice.

Smith has been a consistent performer this season, with only a few hiccups. He has been forced to take on a bigger role with the loss of center Al Horford to injury. He has been more of a team player, more under control — and, yes, smarter.

In fact, a case could be made that Smith has been the Hawks’ best player and the biggest reason they’ve overcome injuries to Horford and backup center Jason Collins and started the season 17-9.

That’s no disrespect to Joe Johnson, who was named an All-Star for the sixth consecutive season and deserved to be. But Smith has been the team’s difference-maker.

Even TNT’s Charles Barkley took up the argument for Smith, saying on the network’s All-Star show Thursday night, “Josh Smith deserved to make the All-Star team. … Josh Smith has been the best player on the Atlanta Hawks this season.”

Former Hawks guard Jamal Crawford, now with Portland, Tweeted: “On the other side of things, don’t know what else Josh Smith can do to be an all star smh.”

All-Star reserves are picked by coaches. Who went ahead of Smith? Chicago’s Luol Deng and Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala. So let’s compare the numbers. Smith has averaged close to 15.6 points, nine rebounds, 3.2 assists and two blocks. He has not missed a game. Deng has averaged 16 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.7 blocks — and he has missed seven games with a wrist injury. Iguodala’s scoring (13) and rebounding (6.7) averages are lower. His assist average (5.2) is higher, but his blocks (0.5) far lower.

Deng and Iguodala are All-Stars for the first time in their respective careers. But this should’ve been Smith’s first time. My view: His career reputation for being gifted athletically but prone to too many ups-and-downs hurt him. But that hasn’t been the case this season. Somebody just isn’t watching.

By Jeff Schultz

124 comments Add your comment

zgoldatl

February 9th, 2012
7:35 pm

Crying shame

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2012
7:35 pm

It has to be his attitude the coaches dont like because no way paul pierce should have made it over him

tremaine

February 9th, 2012
7:36 pm

Spyro

February 9th, 2012
7:37 pm

Hibbert making it is a bit of a reach, but all of this goes back to Carmelo getting voted in by the fans over Chris Bosh.

zgoldatl

February 9th, 2012
7:38 pm

He deserved it last year as well. 2 straight years biggest snub.

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2012
7:38 pm

On a good note josh should take his anger out on that rim the rest of the season

Big Lou

February 9th, 2012
7:39 pm

I know I talk a lot of crap about his boneheaded mistakes, but Josh Smith definitely deserved to go to the All Star Game. He’s way better than those two punks that got in.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:43 pm

Hooray!! Josh didn’t make it! Hopefully Josh will learn that BAD ATTITUDES and SELFISHNESS won’t win you love from the coaches. Let’s be honest what COACH would want to deal with Josh. He shoots jumpers, but yet can’t make freethrows. He gets a rebound and dribbles it down court (not passing it to his point guard), yet he has no handles and commits silly turnovers. If he had maybe the mindset of a DENNIS RODMAN or BEN WALLACE he would have made SEVERAL ALL STAR TEAMS.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:45 pm

Could you imagine if he had made the allstar team? You couldn’t tell him nothing. He is already UNCOACHABLE. He would probably take MORE THREE POINTERS!

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2012
7:47 pm

^^^mark….yea josh will shoot jumpers in the ALL STAR game…lets be real the start of every all star game are nothing but dunks and street ball style of play and in the 4th thats when you keep the best players on the court to finish the gane off and compete

jlewis

February 9th, 2012
7:48 pm

You guys miss the point about Josh every year, he has not been the best player because you dont have to double team him, you want one on one coverage. Coach’s select the team, thats all you have to say, they know players. JJ is a respected player in the league because of his savvy and professionalism, Josh is not viewed that way.

1+2

February 9th, 2012
7:48 pm

Mark, apparently you have not watched any games this season. Josh Smith has played ball and has upped his game, as he knows that he is needed… and he has not had a bad attitude nor has he been selfish. Therefore, before you post, look at a game.

jlewis

February 9th, 2012
7:49 pm

Mark – You are correct.

Jamaaliver

February 9th, 2012
7:50 pm

He’s really not that good. His numbers are decent. Nothing special. And being the best player on the Hawks isn’t exactly saying much.

Wish we’d trade him for Marcin Gortat.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:51 pm

Maybe this will force Josh to look within himself and learn to use his ATHLETICISM to his advantage. Josh could LEAD THE LEAGUE in REBOUNDS AND BLOCKS. He could average 20+ points a night if FOCUSED ON TIP INS, HOOK SHOTS, and ALLEY OOPS/EASY LAYUPS OFF OF FAST BREAKS and MAYBE WORK ON YOU FREE THROW SHOOTING. NOOOO, he wants to SHOOT LONG JUMPERS which kills possessions and make turnovers. What kills me is that Josh has THE NERVE to get mad about fouls not getting call, yet EVERYBODY KNOWS HE IS A POOR FT SHOOTER. Mind Boggling!

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2012
7:51 pm

some of yall are making the all star game seem as if its the championship

tyger

February 9th, 2012
7:53 pm

Shame, shame, shame….

Paul Pierce didnt even play the 1st month of season…

But when you are subjected to strict scrutiny…

3 game losing streaks to +.500 teams…
And scoring drops from 18ppg to 5ppg, really hurts…

But why does Joe Johnson make it???

1+2

February 9th, 2012
7:53 pm

Who cares about him being respected every year. It is about what a player is doing on the court. Without Josh, the team collapses. He has stepped up his game this season and has better numbers than a couple of players that made the all star team. Get over the preconceived notions of josh smith and look at what he has meant to his team, THIS season.

jlewis

February 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

Ok, look on the list that made the all-star team, which player would you say Josh is more fundamental and smarter on the court than?

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

@1+2

I am sorry, but you have right to your opinion. Josh is TOTALLY UNSELFISH and PLAYS WITHIN THE TEAM CONCEPT. He also NEVER COMPLAINS to the refs. My fault….lol. I’ll make sure I start WATCHING THE GAMES…..gimme a break!

tremaine

February 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

I think Josh didn’t make it because the coaches know Carmelo is not going to play in the all-star game, making Bosh a starter and Josh an all-star substitute.

Benjamin

February 9th, 2012
7:56 pm

Josh had a good case LAST season at the midway point. Now? It’s highway robbery.

And I’m a guy who doesn’t even like Josh Smith for the reasons that a lot of people don’t [pouty behavior, historical schizophrenia on the basketball floor yielding him to think he's both John Stockton AND a three point marksman, etc.].

1+2

February 9th, 2012
7:56 pm

FYI: This is the first season that any of his coaches has praised his attitude, work ethic, and play on the court. Prior to this year, whenever smith was behind the 3 pt line, i would pray the ball wouldn’t make it his way. But it was known he would hit air. But this season, he is actually trying to mature – and it shows on the court.

Benjamin

February 9th, 2012
7:57 pm

Mark, it’s the ALL STAR GAME. What coach should care about “dealing with” Josh’s antics for 15 minutes on the floor when his numbers specifically state that he belongs there?

That’s a ridiculous assertion.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:57 pm

@1+2

One more thing Josh has HIGH BASKETBALL IQ, heck he is STUDENT OF THE GAME. I am just trying to help your opinion.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
7:59 pm

Al is not better than Josh, but he actually better ATTITUDE! If he was healthy, he probably would have made it again. We would be a better team!

1+2

February 9th, 2012
7:59 pm

Mark – get over yourself. This is not about Bball IQ – this is about play on the court – THIS season. Not what the guy did the previous 7 or 8 seasons. But this season.

Mark

February 9th, 2012
8:03 pm

Fine 1+2 you win, Josh should be in the ALL STAR GAME. Not that serious.

Boy I wish we package Josh/Marvin/Hinrich in a deal and get Howard. Just dreaming….will never happen.

phil

February 9th, 2012
8:06 pm

Josh has no business being anywhere near the allstar game.

His horrible attitude and refusal to be coached doom him year after year.

Soon it will be too late.

phil

February 9th, 2012
8:07 pm

And fire FG!!

@mark

February 9th, 2012
8:18 pm

Shut up. He’s done everything the right way this year. So what he’s a little emotional, at least he cares. It’s fans like you that make him want to leave Atlanta.

biz

February 9th, 2012
8:20 pm

Judging by the empty seats and lack of prime time, theres a whole lot of folks who are’nt watching.

Katie

February 9th, 2012
8:27 pm

lol, where is superiorblogman, Josh-hater extraordinaire?

I wonder what he has to say to Jeff about this…

It is still the NBA, so...

February 9th, 2012
8:48 pm

who really cares?

1+2

February 9th, 2012
9:07 pm

Actually, I do. I am a Hawks fan.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 9th, 2012
9:09 pm

“look on the list that made the all-star team, which player would you say Josh is more fundamental and smarter on the court than?”

This isn’t relevant. Jason Collins is fundamental and smart on the court. Doesn’t mean he should be an All Star.

Josh has produced more than Luol Deng and Roy Hibbert, and you could make an argument he’s had a better season than Paul Pierce. Can’t dock Josh for his team’s record either, since the Hawks are right there with the Heat, Sixers, and Pacers in the East. Doesn’t matter if he did it with half a brain. The All Star selections are supposed to reward production.

Michael Gearon, Jr.

February 9th, 2012
9:10 pm

What, me worry? :D

doc

February 9th, 2012
9:11 pm

no doubt about it, jeff no logic. the five or siv games beofre his game against the pacers were telling and maybe enough to cost him as the guys you mentioned are on better teams and teams. just seems like a very imbalanced, small all star team.

Michael Gearon, Jr.

February 9th, 2012
9:13 pm

“One more thing Josh has HIGH BASKETBALL IQ, heck he is STUDENT OF THE GAME.”

Debatable.

Ignition

February 9th, 2012
9:20 pm

Big Time snub … Josh way better than the bozoos going crazy..

falCANS

February 9th, 2012
9:25 pm

YALL GONE BE MAD WHEN JOSH CONTRACT UP!! WHEN HE LEAVES,AND,SIGNS WITH THE LAKERS DONT BE MAD AT HIM!!! yall gave him no love

yodaddybrother

February 9th, 2012
9:36 pm

such a tragic snub…..JSmoove has been ballin his ass off….3 years in a row…only to be snubbed by the coaches…

I’m tired of them having this vendetta or this agenda. Hawks lose Al Horford and the main reason we keep winning is Josh Smith. Unbelievable

yodaddybrother

February 9th, 2012
9:39 pm

@Najeh

Josh should have made it over Paul Pierce, Iguodala, Deng, and Roy freaking Hibbert!! I mean really…ROY HIBBERT????

I think Josh is going to make the East pay dearly for this. Look for him to beast the rest of the season and playoffs

Roy

February 9th, 2012
9:47 pm

People are idiots. Josh Smith deserved to make the allstar game. Say what you want to but he has carried the hawks to a respectable record Joe hasnt done it by himself.

falCANS

February 9th, 2012
9:48 pm

FYI Jish Smirh has playwd the same for four years. Hes been runner up twice fir defensice MVP. His play is unconventional, to say the least lol, and that will never change. The only thing that has changed is he is now the #2 option niw that Horford is gone. L.D. cant hild him back any longer…..He finally has tge “green light”

falCANS

February 9th, 2012
9:55 pm

lmao excuse da spellin

DRUNK

waltbellamy

February 9th, 2012
9:58 pm

JS – “Somebody just isn’t watching.”

That would be you Jeff. Any halfway knowledgeable basketball fan does not give any credence to your opinions on the sport.

Jamaaliver – “He’s really not that good. His numbers are decent. Nothing special. And being the best player on the Hawks isn’t exactly saying much. Wish we’d trade him for Marcin Gortat.”

Co-sign 100% regarding how little value should be attached to being the best player on this team. I would be thrilled to trade Josh and Hinrich for Gortat and whatever filler would complete the deal. Instead we have Dampier to the rescue. Sigh!

Amnesty the ASG!

superiorblogman

February 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

Josh Smith is not playing any better. He is the same player. His game is still built around the jump shot and any basketball mind knows he and this team would be better if he actually developed a post game or learned how to dribble in scoring position. He loves getting rebounds and trying to play PG but he can not dribble when he needs to, which is in attack positions on the floor. Josh needs to be playing SF where he can post up all night. He is being done a disservice playing PF because he can’t dribble well enough to get around slower players and he can’t post consistently.

Josh does not deserve to be a all-star nothing improved or changed about his game. Lastly, he is not a good teammate either.

Adam

February 9th, 2012
10:00 pm

Couldn’t agree more.

no go

February 9th, 2012
10:32 pm

bad attitude, shoots a bunch of 3s, lazy—that’s why he didn’t make it–very simple