When the Atlanta Hawks have to deal with injuries, it seems like the team will rally and play more inspired and determined. Case in point, after Al Horford went down for the season with his shoulder injury, the Hawks won 8 of their next 10 games. Now with Joe Johnson sitting out the last two games, the Hawks have won two in a row. Small sample size I'll admit, but the one constant in the equation has been the mercurial home grown talent that is Josh Smith.
Simply put, Josh Smith has been balling after the All-Star break. Check out his last three games and his stat lines.
Atlanta loses to Golden State, 85-82: Smith's worst game as he couldn't finish around the rim, as noted by his 5-20 shooting performance. Still, 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks isn't bad in a game that ATL had every chance to win.
Atlanta defeats Milwaukee, 99-94: 24 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. The man does everything.
Atlanta defeats Oklahoma City, 97-90: 30 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and one posterization on the best defender of the rim in the NBA, Mr. Serge Ibaka. (Does the finger wag)
Smith's averaging 22.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks per game, and although he was snubbed from the All-Star game, there's no doubt that Smith has been one of the best power forwards in the league this year. Josh Smith for MVP? Maybe Tom Ziller will give him some MVP love on Wednesday, because who knows where this team would be without him.