Josh Smith, Mike Woodson: Back At It
On Friday, Woodson benched a well-performing Smith for the entire second half due to what Mo Evans called "off-the-court, internal stuff." The issue had been resolved in the locker room, and the Hawks beat the Pistons on Saturday. But the team took an unnecessary loss on Friday because of the broken relationship between Smith and Woodson.
At some point, this needs to stop happening.
Woodson has another year on his contract, and Atlanta isn't in the business of setting cash on fire. Smith just inked a five-year deal at what appears to be a bargain rate. There would appear to be at least a year and change of a strained marriage left, and you have to wonder if it's holding the Hawks back.
But under the surface, it seems Smith is doing plenty of holding back himself. Hoopinion's Bret LaGree has done a fabulous job documenting Smith's decline in several key categories, categories which helped Smith become the type of player he is today. Smith's block rate has fallen off a cliff, and his offensive rebounding has been in a severe downturn for several years. Soon enough, Smith may no longer look like the bargain that he's made out to be.