Air Smoove To The Rescue!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Josh Smith didn’t plan on playing the hero.

When Joe Johnson pulled up for the potential game-winning shot, Smith expected it to fall.

But he took off toward the basket anyway, just in case.

Good thing he did.

It was Smith’s rebound and dunk as time expired that sealed the Hawks’ gritty 86-84 win over Southeast Division rival Orlando, a team that had smoked the Hawks by an average of 22 points in their three previous meetings this season.

Jaw-dropping, gravity-defying plays aren’t unusual for Smith, easily one of the league’s most breathtaking athletic marvels. But even he had a hard time explaining this one.

“What did Dwight [Howard] have 25 rebounds?” Smith said of his former preschool classmate, AAU teammate and longtime friend. Actually it was 24. “It was a blessing that he didn’t grab that one. And I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to grab and put it back.”

The right place was a solid foot above the rim and the right time was in the closing seconds (the last sequence was actually the last nine seconds) of a game full of playoff-level intensity from both sides.

“I had a great view of the play from the corner,” Hawks center Al Horford said, “so I knew it was good when he caught because he had the follow through and everything before the light went off. I was really excited because we actually made a mistake on the play before that. I was supposed to switch over on Vince [Carter] on defense and hesitated for a second and waited to long and he knocked down the 3-pointer that tied the game. So Josh sort of bailed me out.

“But this was an important game for us because people have been talking about how much better they are than us. And honestly, we don’t feel that way. So we had to come out and get this win.”

It was even sweeter for Smith, who exchanged hugs with Howard after the game. He started his celebration on his way up the floor after the dunk, before the game officials reviewed the play to determine if he had gotten the shot off in time.

“I knew it was close,” Smith said. “But I had to celebrate a little bit, because this is a long time coming for us, to knock off Orlando. They’ve had our number for a year or two now.”


  1. Wolfman92 says:

    @APOSTOL, What the crap!!!! J-Smoove the worst player in the league??? R U N-SANE????????? Right On NASIR!!! Dwight a.k.a. FOUL ON YOU, is gonna be singing a different song when the series goes to ATL. He gets the officials in the O but not gonna fly in ATL. They not gonna put up with his BS there. By the way he is $70,000 lighter after the Charlotte series. Maybe thatll help him to learn to STFU!!!!!! Not likely though. U sure he didn’t become superman cuz no ones mouth can fly as fast as his????

  2. Wes says:

    @ APOSTOL, Josh Smith is the worst player in the NBA? Hyperbole much?

  3. MysticX says:

    Dear Rashard Lewis,

    How about BOXING OUT?!?!?!?

    Disgruntled fan.

  4. Nasir says:

    The Hawks are inconsistent, but they’re an outstanding team, and they can compete with anyone in any seven game series. Underestimate them at your peril; oh, by the way, LeBron and the Cavs finally have the juggernaut to take your worthless Magic down in the ECF, so beware. Good luck, keep your tissues close by in the postseason.

  5. APOSTOL says:

    hawks are gettin hyped for no reason they aint gettin no where in da playoffs they still suck and so does josh smith he has to be da worst player in da nba ….hawks got one lucky win over orlando congratulations let them play orlando in a 7 game series in da post season they aint goin no where ORLANDO ALL DAYY !!! LETSS GOOO

  6. HawkFanCece says:

    I missed watching the game, but heard it inbetween shopping for my daughter’s Prom. I know the other drivers (and my daughter) thought I was crazy because I was screaming at the top of my lungs when they won. I just want to thank all the Hawks fans for supporting them in a game like this, and for making my days and nights when I’m down. It is so much fun to know I’m not the only one jumping and screaming like a kid on a playground when they win, lol. I’ll spend at least an hour watching the replays and picking out fans to watch the sheer joy that simply cannot be helped. Gonna do that tonight. GO HAWKS!!!

  7. Big Ray says:

    Oh hell yeah. Big Smoove to the rescue! It’s been a long time coming, but the kid is a real playa now.