Hawks owner: Josh Smith is the "closest thing to LeBron"


Thumbnail image for JSmith_Slam.jpgWhen Josh Smith is on, there are few players more fun to watch in the league. And he was on Tuesday night — 21 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. He and Al Horford won game two for the Hawks.

It’s the kind of game that can make an owner overstate your value to a FanHouse reporter.

“He’s the closest thing to LeBron in the league,” Hawks owner Michael Gearon Jr. said in an interview after the game with FanHouse. “I’m not saying he’s LeBron. But just look, he gets assists, he rebounds, he blocks shots. He’s a game changer. … Just look at his stats.”

Really, you’d take him over Dwyane Wade? Over Kevin Durant? Over Chris Bosh? Over Kobe Bryant (age could play into that one)? Look at it this way, Smith finished 21st in the NBA in PER this season and the 20 guys ahead of him can be game-changers too, even Zach Randolph.

By the way, Mr. Gearon, comments that will be brought up during the next contract negotiations with Smith include this one.

Josh Smith can bring it on defense (second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting). He is maybe the second best athlete in the league. He has stopped taking threes and his shot selection improved (although his true shooting percentage and other offensive measures). He is an All-Star and there isn’t a team in the league that couldn’t use a guy like him.

But let’s not overdo it, people.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.

Derrick Rose’s eye still swollen, will rejoin Bulls Monday

Derrick Rose
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Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.

Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.