Hawks forward Josh Smith today was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 9. It’s the second such honor of his career, having also earned the Player of the Week nod five years ago today.
Smith averaged 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals in 35.9 minutes (.481 FG%, .429 3FG%, .625 FT%), as Atlanta went a perfect 3-0 for the week. The Hawks posted home wins over Denver (108-104) and Washington (104-95), adding a road victory in Memphis (93-83) against the team with the NBA’s best winning percentage at the time.
Smith put up a game-high 24 points in the Memphis win, adding eight rebounds and four assists. He pulled down a season-best 15 rebounds to go along with 23 points, four assists and two steals against Washington. He began the week with a 16-point, 13-rebound performance against Denver, including the game-clinching steal and dunk with less than a minute remaining.
At 12-5 overall, the Hawks have won nine-of-the-last-10 and own the best road record in the East (5-2).
In 16 starts this season, the ninth-year veteran has averaged a team-high 17.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 steals in 35.1 minutes (.451 FG%, .381 3FG%, .516 FT%). He ranks eighth in the NBA in blocks per game, 22nd in rebounds per game, tied for 22nd in double-doubles, tied for 24th in steals per game and 30th in points per game.
On Saturday against Memphis, Smith surpassed Dominique Wilkins to move into third place on the Hawks’ all-time defensive rebounding list (3,590). He is the only player in league history with career averages of at least 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals.
Teammate Al Horford received the honor two weeks ago on November 26.
Other nominees for the Eastern Conference Player of the Week were Horford, Rajon Rondo (Boston), Joakim Noah (Chicago), Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton (New York), and Glen Davis (Orlando).