Two Hawks are All-Stars, but not Josh Smith; bad call, I say

Both of these men should be All-Stars, but only one's going. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Both of these men should be All-Stars, but only one was named. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Beggars can’t be choosers, and for years the Hawks have been beggars when it comes to All-Star selections. This is the first time since 1998 that the team has placed as many as two men in the game, and that’s nice.

But not nice enough. Should’ve been three.

Josh Smith should be going, too.

Got no problem with Joe Johnson. Got no problem with Al Horford. They’re both deserving. But they’re no more deserving — maybe not as deserving — as Josh Smith.

There are two reasons these Hawks are clearly better than last season’s Hawks. Jamal Crawford is one. Smith is the other. He has taken his game, as they say, to the next level. He has learned to play basketball, as opposed to simply running and jumping and dunking. He’s averaging 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, a career-best 3.9 assists and 2.2 blocks. He has made 51.2 percent of his shots, also a personal best.

I know Josh Smith wanted badly to make it. We talked about it a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I thought he had a great case but might get overlooked because the Hawks still aren’t a media magnet. But I’m shocked that two Hawks made it — and don’t get me wrong; I think Horford is tremendous — and Smith isn’t one of them.

And I’m not the only one who’s disappointed. Here’s co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.: “Josh Smith is an All-Star and he deserves to be there. He deserves to make that team as much as any of the players who were selected. He is an All-Star, and he’s the heart and soul of our team. He deserves to be there.”

From general manager Rick Sund: “There area lot of players in the NBA who put up All-Star numbers, and then there are players who are All-Star players. Josh is an All-Star player.”

He is. He’s having a great year. He has come a million miles since he was drafted out of Oak Hill Academy back in 2004. If you’re asking me who’s the best Hawk, I’d still say Joe Johnson. If you’re asking me who’s the team MVP, it’s Josh Smith.

124 comments Add your comment

Buzz

January 28th, 2010
4:00 pm

Geez, at least supply us some numbers so we can agree or disagree with you.

Dominique Wilkins

January 28th, 2010
4:03 pm

Al Horford just had a heat check, Bob.

Patrick

January 28th, 2010
4:03 pm

The truth. Josh being left out is a complete joke.

Reid Adair

January 28th, 2010
4:08 pm

By the numbers, the two most deserving players on the Hawks were Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford.

But, congratulatiosn to Joe Johnson and Al Horford.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 28th, 2010
4:08 pm

I completely, 100% agree with this article. Josh should have been the FIRST Hawk selected.

Mark Bradley

January 28th, 2010
4:08 pm

I’ve updated the post to include his stats, Buzz. Feel free to disagree. Or not.

Hawksfan

January 28th, 2010
4:09 pm

My boy J-Smoove got robbed, I hope the West destroys the East in the ASG.

ATLFan

January 28th, 2010
4:10 pm

Amen to that Mark. The Hawks struggles usually occur when Josh is resting or in foul trouble. When he develops a flatter, dependable 15 ft jumper, he will be an All Star annually.

Hawksfan

January 28th, 2010
4:12 pm

My boy J-Smoove got robbed, I hope the West blows the Eastern confrence team out.

G-Money

January 28th, 2010
4:14 pm

I definitely feel as though Josh Smith deserves to be an All Star. Sometimes in a lot of instances it just ends up being a numbers case where you have to have a cutoff of roster spaces. Unfortunately, Allen Iverson was voted a starter and that selection has an impact on the remainder of the roster. It is my sincerest of wishes that Josh Smith uses this slight as motivation to leave absolutely no doubt of his AllStar worthiness from this point going forward.

Patrick

January 28th, 2010
4:16 pm

Because there was a request for stats:

15.1 PPG–tied, 53rd in the league
8.5 rebounds–tied, 24th in the league
3.9 assists–37th in the league
2.16 blocks–3rd in the league
1.52 steals–tied, 17th in the league

22.02 P.E.R (Player Efficiency Rating)–17th in the league
7.7 Wins Produced (Metric based on Win Share)–tied, 11th in the league

Basically, Josh has been the most well rounded player in the league besides LeBron James, and every meaningful productivity statistic has him as one of the top 20 players in the league this year.

Benjamin

January 28th, 2010
4:35 pm

Yeah, Josh Smith got hosed.

It is nice to see Al Horford on the roster, though.

Steve Carter

January 28th, 2010
4:36 pm

How bout this? Iverson said he may not play, so JJ moves into his starter’s spot. if Iverson doesn’t play, they will need another player and volla…JS gets picked…hey I can dream right?

Ross

January 28th, 2010
4:37 pm

It’s impossible to follow these blog posts. AJC needs to let me setup up some proper forums. contact me if interested.

Overcharged, Unhappy Wireless Customer

January 28th, 2010
4:50 pm

In a related story,…

About 30% of the calls I make over my iPhone while AT&T are BAD CALLS !

balismith aguy

January 28th, 2010
4:51 pm

josh smithdoes not make the team but a player who doesnt like to practice and has already passed his prime is a st a rter….life in the nba i guess

jlewis

January 28th, 2010
4:52 pm

Remember, the Coaches pick the reserves, I like Josh, but he is easy to guard, he puts up stats, but he is not the heart and soul of the team. He is good on weakside D, but not straight up man, until you can draw a double team or like Al Horford, just plays and doesnt complain about every call, you are not an all-star.

Jamal Crawford is not an All Star, for those columnists that want to start friction on the team, forget it. Ten years in the league, he hasnt even gotten close, there is a reason for that.

CJ

January 28th, 2010
4:53 pm

To be honest, I think Al hosed Brook Lopez and Josh got hosed by all the guards that got on the squad. Paul Pierce shouldn’t be an All Star this season.

Mark Bradley

January 28th, 2010
4:57 pm

The Hawks are in a weird position. They’re happy they have two All-Stars — they weren’t certain they’d get that many — but they really feel lousy for J-Smoove.

george

January 28th, 2010
4:59 pm

Josh is having a tremendous year. He is unselfish, plays hard every night and is a major contributor to the Hawks success. it is a crime that he wasnt not selected. Gerald Wallace plays for a team that is playing 500 ball and is 4-17 on the road. He is the best passing big man in the league and plays the game the gight way. When will the league start giving him as well as the team the respect they deserve!!!!

True Hawks Fan

January 28th, 2010
4:59 pm

Josh Smith got robbed.

Tony

January 28th, 2010
5:03 pm

Al got in as a center, which he deserves. I ould rate him the #2 center in the East.

thomas22

January 28th, 2010
5:10 pm

AL is the most consistent player we have…. JJ is still solid although everyone gives him a hard time about effort.

Maybe the all star snub had nothing to do with Josh’s numbers this season, but his attitude of complaining with the refs so much?

LEA

January 28th, 2010
5:17 pm

lol thomas please. Al is NOT the most consistent player on this team. He rarely shows up against the good teams in this league. Smoove was jobbed period…

Smitty

January 28th, 2010
5:18 pm

All the positive things people are saying are great. Josh Smith, however, is still a “potential ” all star. he is doing some very good things. But it doesnt make him a star that he has quit doing all those things that got his team beat .It just makes him a very talented, and now more mature player, perhaps even one who listens to his coach, who of course is getting no kudos for any of this. He is perhaps still a year away from maximizing his potential but perhaps finally listening and learning.

Kevin

January 28th, 2010
5:22 pm

I wonder if the Hawks will actually fill the building Friday night? I have my tickets but find it pathetic that Atlanta is 21st in attendance so far. The Clippers and Toronto are doing better attendance wise! I know all of the excuses people like to give but that building should be full every night. If the Braves can average 25,000 in 81 home games, why can’t the Hawks average 18,500 in 41 games???

SWAT Native

January 28th, 2010
5:22 pm

Smoove deserved to be on the team, but at least he’s in the conversation. Hopefully, he’ll use this as motivation to get even better rather than get discouraged from not meeting his goal.

km

January 28th, 2010
5:23 pm

josh deserves to be there. it is a disgrace gerald wallace beat out Josh. When the hornets are 4-17 on the road. he is the best passing big man in the league. Once again the League doesnt give the Hawks the respect they deserve. He has taking his team another level and is playing all star ball.

Mark Bradley

January 28th, 2010
5:28 pm

I’d agree that center is the less contested position.

ATL

January 28th, 2010
5:37 pm

The stats are solid but they dont show the true impact josh has on the court for the Hawks. Opposing players drive the lane knowing that he is lurking on the backside ready to contest the shot. Im hesitant to say his defensive impact is as big as Mutombo was for us but hes caused a lot more missed shots in the lane than just the 2.16 blocks a game.. When he’s on the bench you can see teams putting an emphasis on attacking the basket

GovClintonTyree

January 28th, 2010
5:44 pm

Major miss.

When the inevitable injury substitutions happen, hopefully Smoove is at the top of the list.

Jt

January 28th, 2010
5:48 pm

The thing about Josh and numbers is that his numbers may not be the best at his position. But what he brings to the Hawks is All-Star level play. Unfortunately if you do not watch them on a regular basis the only thing you go by is numbers. I believe he is the Hawk that they can least afford to lose to injury for any length of time. And those who have watched him for years can see the leaps he has made in his play from even last year to this. Let’s hope he takes the snub well and becomes even better.

thebizz

January 28th, 2010
5:56 pm

Trade Bibby and ZAZA. Devon Hester!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats Joe And Al

Bruce Levenson

January 28th, 2010
6:04 pm

Too bad there isn’t a stat for altered shots. Josh would be among the league leaders in that category too. Our supposedly undersized power forward and center are among the very best 4-5 tandem in the NBA. Both should be going to Dallas.

Sid

January 28th, 2010
6:05 pm

J-lewis

Please check your facts as it remains Crawford was had over 460,000 votes last year between NY and GS and this year he is playing much better and having a greater impact on games and his teams standing and Mike Bibby has gotten more votes than Crawford with over 200,000. The fact remains that if we fans of the hawks dont push and let everyone know the contribution he has made as well as Josh then why will anyone outside of Atlanta respect what they have done.

But every reserve they chose was a good pick and congrats to Joe and especially AL they deserve it as well. What ticks me off is AI after one of the worst 18 months in history for a nba player somehow gets voted in . It has basically cheapened the entire game and now AI talks about not wanting to disappoint the fans who voted for him but what about the fans who wanted him to come off the bench in Memphis or pass the ball in Denver ? I wont watch the game if that guy plays .

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR (Waf-SS, ret.)

January 28th, 2010
6:07 pm

I am a loyal Mr. Joshua Smith fan, but we were only allowed two players by the fools up in NBA front office who are prejudice against Atlanta, Georgia. Just look at the call of the NBA refs against Atlanta. Never forget and never forgive.
But lets not worry about the NBA front office fools. The Atlanta Hawks take the NBA Eastern Confernee just like General William Tescumsh Sherman took Atlanta, Georgia on September 1, 1864. Guaranteed.

oldmaninatlanta

January 28th, 2010
6:21 pm

As far as I’m concerned,Jamal got screwed just like Josh.His numbers are as good as anyones.

roger

January 28th, 2010
6:26 pm

Josh does not run the floor last one every time unless he is dunking. he cannot stay in front of his man on defense? Hustle is not in his language. Nobody can throw the ball away quicker or dribble off his feet faster than josh. Eventhough he cant shoot no one will guard him he continues to shoot. This team will never win as long he cares only about himself i9nstead of the team. He is a first team allstar when in comes to crying at the officials. If he was an allstar why didnt anyboby want him when available?

LEA

January 28th, 2010
6:29 pm

roger u don’t seem that bright, and obviously you do not watch the hawks much

ASHEVILLE DAWG

January 28th, 2010
6:35 pm

The Hawks got two all stars. You got to be grateful for that. It’s better than the zero of years not to far in the past.

The McRib - why only for a limited time?

January 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

if only he could develop a “running lefty hook”….

MannyT

January 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

It is a little awkward that Josh was not selected. I wonder if his on court behavior factored into the decision. It is easy to pick Horford than Smith if that was a deciding factor for the coaches.

People don’t like to pick whiners.

All that said, I think Smith was more deserving than Horford based on performance.

I hope this fuels Josh to complain less and take out his frustrations over the last part of the season.

Whopper Dawg

January 28th, 2010
6:41 pm

Mark,

I agree with you, he has to be the MVP of the Hawks and an all-star.

BosnianBaller

January 28th, 2010
6:46 pm

Agree with tony there is no better number 2 center than Horford considering he is undersized for that position

todd grantham

January 28th, 2010
6:47 pm

J Smoove. cool. i need a nickname too. but too many bad possibilities with “todd”. i could kill my parents for naming me “todd”…

todd grantham

January 28th, 2010
7:00 pm

grantham, however, is a fine old english name meaning “pub crawler”.

RomeDawg

January 28th, 2010
7:18 pm

I think maybe the perception from the public AND others in basketball is that Smith has an attitude problem. I am not saying he does, but I think that is his reputation. Johnson and Horford are both thought of as “high character guys” and I think that helps. Doesn’t explain Iverson though?

Jersey Shore

January 28th, 2010
7:26 pm

WHAT ABOUT THE EYEBROWS?

layinlow

January 28th, 2010
7:39 pm

I ‘ll do you one better Bradley. I will give you a name of a starting forward that Josh Smith deserves to start over. Here goes- Kevin Garnett. This is not even close in my opinion. Garnett has been injured almost all year. And he starts over a guy who is maybe the most complete forward in the league. Hell NO. He is the most complete forward in the league. Josh Smith is an X-Factor. He is a game changer baby.

Justin

January 28th, 2010
7:39 pm

Al Horford is not an all star. Brook Lopez is much more deserving than him