Josh Smith Was Not Welcome Back To Atlanta And Jason Terry Says This Is The House He Helped Build

Posted on March 6, 2015

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Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith has heard a lot of criticism over the past few years that he takes too many three-pointers. Those comments are accurate — Smith hasn’t topped 31 percent from long range since 2010-11 — but it’s easy to see how he may have grown tired of the naysayers after several years. He probably gets the gist at this point.

We can understand, then, why Smith may have chosen to respond to the haters during the Rockets’ visit to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. After hitting his first triple of the game with 2:19 remaining in the third quarter, the former Hawk put his finger to his lips to quiet down the booing crowd.  Smith a native Atlantans was not welcome home to where he got his start in the NBA at all.

But Smith didn’t stop there. He did the same thing after his second three-pointer put the Rockets up 84-72 with 11:03 left in regulation:

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the Philips Center crowd didn’t stop shouting even with the team down big. They haven’t remembered the good times in the two season since Smith last suited up for Atlanta, and an apparent runaway victory for Houston wasn’t going to stop them from raining down boos.

It turns out that the home crowd had the right idea, because the Hawks followed Smith’s second taunt with a remarkable run to wrest back control of the game. Pablo Prigioni hit a three-pointer on the Rockets’ next possession to open up a 15-point lead, but the Hawks ended the game on a 32-9 run to end up with a 104-96 win to extend their streak to five in a row. Here’s a look at some of the key moments in their huge comeback:

While it would be too much to suggest that Smith’s action inspired the Atlanta comeback, a 20-point swing indicates that he wasn’t very successful in shutting them up. (He also helped out with three missed shots and two turnovers.) It was arguably the least effective shoosh since that guy from “Encino Man” tried to tell everyone that Linkavitch Chomofksy wasn’t really an Estonian exchange student:

Despite what would be understandable embarrassment, Smith did not try to walk back his actions. If anything, he doubled down on them. From Kevin Arnovitz for ESPN.com:

“I mean, those fans are fickle, very fickle and bandwagoners,” Smith said. “It really doesn’t mean anything to me.”

Aside from the Smith sideshow, the Hawks’ comeback speaks to the qualities that have allowed them to reach the NBA’s best record at 48-12. Six players scored during the game-closing run as the Hawks regularly found good shots on offense and forced the Rockets into bad decisions at the other end. As usual, Atlanta looked in control of themselves and supremely confident under pressure.

Meanwhile, Houston clearly missed MVP candidate James Harden, who sat out this one while serving his one-game suspension for kicking LeBron James in the groin on Sunday. Without Harden, the Rockets too often hoisted three-pointers after a single pass or hoped that Donatas Motiejunas could create a look on his own inside. Houston lacked a calming element in crunch time on Tuesday — it’s arguable that their struggles won Harden a few MVP votes simply because they rarely look so flustered when he has the ball in his hands.

Jason “The Jett” Terry said Atlanta was a house that he helped build.  Although, he was disappointed in his teams loss he was glad to see the Hawks trun the club around.  Jason went on to win a championship with the Dallas Mavericks that just was not going to happen while he was with the Hawks.  He mention the Rockets have a good number of vets, but just could not pull it out.

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