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The ever-athletic Josh Smith has much to prove this year.
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has always been a touch on the mercurial side. He has an abundance of talent, but at times seems to get in his own way. He can fill out a stat sheet but can shoot his team into a hole.
He is one of the best high-flyers and when matched up against small forwards, he has an immediate advantage in the post. Yet, he has a penchant for shooting three-point shots, which he only makes at a dismal 27.8 percent clip.
Now that Joe Johnson is gone, it only makes sense to expect more from the star who has the most talent.
This should be a big year for Smith. He assumes more scoring responsibility in lieu of Johnson's absence. He is in the final year of his previous contract. He still has yet to make the NBA All-Star roster.
He has a lot to prove, but will he?
Thus far, in Atlanta's first three preseason outings, Smith is averaging a little more than 21 minutes, nearly 11 points, two assists, two steals and a little less than five rebounds and one block per game.
The Hawks are 1-2 in their first three outings. Wins and losses don't mean much in the preseason but how much starters are able to contribute during their limited playing time often does. But Smith's numbers don't seem to be any better than his typical career averages.
Perhaps, he is still getting acclimated to his 11 new teammates?
Hopefully, he figures it all out before the season starts. His numbers, at present, do not seem to indicate that he's ready to be an All-Star or assume the scoring vacancy left by Johnson.