Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Josh Smith is Coming of Age

This is not a car, although I have it on good authority that some cars are blue.

For a while now, the Atlanta Hawks organization has been purgatory for NBA players. It's hard to imagine a more depressing situation. Empty stands, bad management, and no leadership are symptoms of the problem, but you get the feeling that it goes deeper than that. Like, for example, those jerseys that make them look like 70's McDonald's employees. Or the fact that they addressed their dire need for a point guard by drafting another small forward. It makes you think that there's an angry ghost haunting this franchise. you know, one of those angry ghosts that forces you to make stupid decisions for five years.

But, Joe Johnson ignored all logic last season and signed (willingly!) to a contract with Atlanta. So when he was having his best season this year, the angry ghost would not have it, and he went down with an injury. What happened then? Well, since making the playoffs is out of the question, there were two options. The first was tanking. This is apparently a pretty cool thing to do this year. I say this because Boston is doing it, and boy do I love Boston. There's no way this doesn't make sense. You order a bunch of pathologically competitive people to lie down for the rest of the year, killing your chemistry and emasculating your coach. But it's all worth it, because when you get that top draft pick, everything is fixed. You are bathed in a shower of rainbows and diamonds, and you're awarded the NBA championship for being so god-damned clever.

The other option is the one that Atlanta picked, and that's play through it. Players like Josh Childress and Josh Smith took advantage of the hole in the offensive picture and have stepped up. I find this to be particularly encouraging for Josh Smith. He's always been a freakishly good athlete, but questions remained about how effective he really is in-game. For example, yes, he could jump over a car, but when do you see a car on the court? Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked: Josh Smith has been playing really well. Well enough to where there's no reason he shouldn't be starting next to Joe when he comes back. Sure, they're not a good team yet, but not quitting this year has set them up for good things in the next. I'll always think losing now to win in the future is a stupid idea. Boston, go ahead and ask Atlanta how that's worked out for them so far.

1 comment:

the butler said...

The Celtics make me sick. As a Grizzlies fan, I'm even more depressed because we're not tanking and we still suck more than them.

If Memphis ends up picking fourth, I will be a very bitter man.