Photo taken before Game 1 of 2009 Playoffs vs Miami Heat
I meant to post something on this earlier, but Slam Online is rolling out their annual Top 50 Players list as the season approaches. J-Smoove ranked #40 (he ranked #47 on the list in 2006 and 2008). The list is based on their projected performance in the 2009-10 season. So, lets hope that a higher ranking this year actually means better shot selections, more post play/less bad jumpers, more maturity and perhaps even an All-Star appearance...
Basically, I'd just like to see him finally get past the "he's developing" stage. We hear that every year. While I am glad that we were able to re-sign him last season, I really want to see dude take his game to the next level. Because really, he hasn't gotten any better over the last 2-3 years, he's just super athletic and that tends to blind you from his actual progress as a player. If he ain't careful, he's gonna see Marvin Williams eclipse him as the next option in the offense behind Joe Johnson, because Marvin has actually gotten better each year that he's been here.
But hold up though...just as I was posting this, my brother pointed out a quote Josh had in todays AJC about his summer workouts and what he plans to do this season. I'm kinda glad to have read this coming out of his own mouth:
“I wanted to work more on my decision-making than anything. I handle the ball so much on the fast break and in transition that I wanted to make sure I’m thinking the game the way I need to be. I also worked on my handles and knocking down that mid-range jumper. I’m really not worried about the 3-point ball right now. We have so many guys on this team that can make that shot...
...“I don’t have any business being out there this season with Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford, Marvin, Mo and [Jeff] Teague all doing work out there. I have to focus on working in the cracks and making sure that people respect my mid-range game. And if they don’t, we have to make them pay for not respecting it.”
Man, that was right on time. But enough of me, check out the Slam article. It was written by the homie Demarco Williams.
READ: Slam Online's Top 50 Players: Josh Smith #40