The NBA: Under the Radar

Josh Smith flies under the radar. That's both his biggest strength, and
biggest weakness.
*All images are from the Associated Press.

"This is just wrong. The kid should have made the team anyway. But to get whacked twice ... that's just wrong." - a former Hawks staffer on Josh Smith getting snubbed by David Stern, who picked Rajon Rondo to replace Joe Johnson on the East’s All-Star roster. 

You have to feel for Smith. It was unacceptable enough Luol Deng got the nod over him, but now he gets yet another snub even after fellow Hawk Joe Johnson begs off due to injury. 

Slow clap for you, Mr. Stern.

By all intents and purposes, this is Smith’s best season so far. And, quite frankly, it’s him and not Johnson who’s the one doing the heavy lifting for the Hawks. Despite not having Al Horford after an early injury this season, Atlanta has remained a playoff contender. They are 6th in the East, within striking distance of a possible top 4 seed.

Still, nobody seems to notice.

And people are shaking their heads.

Except, I guess, Smith himself, who, despite his team struggling to play with a consistent starting unit, continues to put in the work and ensure the Hawks will be competitive on a nightly basis.

Josh Smith.

That’s one Hawk who should NOT be flying under the radar.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

MIA over NYK, 102-88
It was a long night for the NBA's newest sensation Jeremy Lin, and Miami's All-Star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh helped the Heat earn their eighth straight victory with a triumph over the Knicks. Bosh led Miami with 25 points, James filled the stat sheet with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks while Wade registered 22 points to go with 5 boards and 5 assists. During its winning streak, Miami has won all eight contests by at least 12 points. 
ATL over ORL, 83-78
Josh Smith had 22 points and 12 rebounds, leading the Hawks over the Magic. Atlanta had lost three in a row and eight of 11 and was playing without leading scorer Joe Johnson, but got 15 points from Jannero Pargo and 14 from Willie Green to head into the All-Star break with a win. Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who will host this weekend's All- Star festivities. 
SAS over DEN, 114-99
DeJuan Blair had 28 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Spurs cruise to a over the Nuggets. San Antonio bounced back after seeing its 11-game win streak come to an end in Tuesday's blowout loss at Portland. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker didn't play against the Trail Blazers, but scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, in this back win. 
OKC over LAL, 100-85
Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook netted 19 and the Thunder rolled to their 12th straight home win. Serge Ibaka totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds, while James Harden had 16 points and helped shut down Kobe Bryant to send Oklahoma City into the All-Star break with a Western Conference-best 27-7 record. 

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Kevin Durant (OKC) – 33
DeJuan Blair (SAS) – 28
Chris Bosh (MIA) – 25
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 24
Corey Brewer (DEN) – 23 

Kevin Durant is slowly closing in
on Kobe's scoring leader spot.
Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Zaza Pachulia (ATL) & Serge Ibaka (OKC) – 13
A LOT with 12

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Tony Parker (SAS) – 12
LeBron James (MIA) – 8
Andre Miller (DEN) & Julyan Stone (DEN) – 7 

This is shaping up to be Tony Parker's best
season yet.

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
LeBron James (MIA) – 5
A LOT with 3 

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL) & Joel Anthony (MIA) – 5
Serge Ibaka (OKC) & Tim Duncan (SAS) – 3 

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Richard Jefferson (SAS) – 5
Steve Novak (NYK) & Matt Bonner (SAS) – 4 

Feb. 23, 2012 First Five
C – Chris Bosh (MIA) – 25pts, 8rebs, 1stl, 1blk
F – DeJuan Blair (SAS) – 28pts, 12rebs, 3asts, 2stls, 1blk
F – Kevin Durant (OKC) – 33pts, 6asts, 4rebs, 3stls, 1blk
G – LeBron James (MIA) – 20pts, 9rebs, 8asts, 5stls, 2blks
G – Andre Miller (DEN) – 20pts, 7asts, 1reb, 1stl

Chris Bosh and the Heat have rolled all
the way to the NBA's best record.
Honorable Mention:
Pau Gasol (LAL) – 22pts, 9rebs, 3asts, 1stl
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 12pts, 12rebs, 5blks, 3asts, 2stls
Dwyane Wade (MIA) – 22pts, 5rebs, 5asts, 2stls

Daily Zap:

*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.

Next Post »
0 Comment