The Stat Line Of The Night — 2/14/11 — Josh Smith
Looking to keep pace with the Orlando Magic for fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings, and a chance at home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks knew that a game against the lowly Detroit Pistons was one they simply had to win. They did just that, thanks in large part to the brilliant effort put forth by Josh Smith.
The high-flying forward for the Hawks had they type of all-around performance that many have come to expect from him, as he recorded 27 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Smith did most of his damage in the second half, going 6-for-9 from the field in the frame as the Hawks outscored the Pistons 41-27 following the break, en route to the 94-79 victory.
When most people talk about the battle for supremacy in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the main players always seem to be the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic. Left out of the mix is the Atlanta Hawks, however, one quick look at the standings shows that they deserve to be in that conversation. Last night’s win has them in a tie for fourth with the Magic, three games back of the Bulls, five behind the Heat and 5.5 back of the Celtics for first. While a spot within the top four of the Conference standings might shock most, it is where the Hawks currently stand, thanks to Smith’s performance, which is worthy of our “Stat Line of the Night” for Monday, February 14, 2011.