Josh Smith gets no respect. His Atlanta Hawks team quietly wins games during the regular season but hasn't been able to do any real damage in the playoffs. That history, along with Smith's reputation as a player, has kept him out of the limelight and tragically, kept him off the 2012 NBA All-Star team.
SB Nation's Peachtree Hoops site, however, crunched the numbers and thinks it's time for us to reevaluate where Smith stands in the NBA and concludes that he's a top-15 player this season.
Why not? He's produced better across the board than almost all of his positional contemporaries and has been the mainstay, the centerpiece of a potential Top 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. You need more -- you want stats -- I get it -- here are a few. 25 Double-doubles is good for fifth in the league this season. 5th in Defensive Rebounding rate, with 25%. #1 in Assist percentage with 20.6%. Among all forwards...If you are looking for a player who has more than 70 steals and 70 blocked shots, there are only two: Smith and Dwight Howard.
In fact, there are only three players who have a 20 PER, 20% Defensive Rebound Rate, 3% Block Rate and 2% Steal Rate: Smith, Howard, and Cousins
The numbers are certainly impressive, but has Josh Smith done enough this season to get the recognition Hawks fans think he deserves?
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