Larry Drew speaks:
"I am looking at different things. I am looking at Minnesota and because they have such a big lineup with Beasley, Milicic and Love, I may have to go bigger at the three. If Jamal is at the two, and Joe is at the three, then Joe has to guard Beasley, and I don’t want that."Adamant as I am that Josh Smith can't play small forward for any length of time, I'm nearly as adamant that Michael Beasley is less effective the farther he strays from the bucket. Anyone who remembers Beasley's inability* to use the threat of his jump shot to prey on Josh Smith's on-the-ball defensive weaknesses in the first round of the 2008-09 NBA Playoffs cannot but feel sanguine about the resumption of that matchup.
*Honest question: Is Michael Beasley now the poor man's JJ Hickson?
That Minnesota's playing Beasley out of position in order to squeeze Darko Milicic, who is less good at basketball than Zaza Pachulia, into the starting lineup only makes things easier for Larry Drew on Friday night. Furthermore, none of Wesley Johnson, Corey Brewer, or Lazar Hayward should especially trouble Joe Johnson when he's forced to play the 3.
Though, should Williams miss any significant time, I've included the contact information for a decent use of the 15th roster spot in this post as a public service. Because, when something like this gets written by Ian Thomsen on SI.com about Josh Smith's shot selection, I'm drunk on belief in my voice:
Smith can be unruly -- he is, once again, shooting indiscriminately from the perimeter when he ought to be controlling the paint -- so maybe the Hawks will consider trading his upside at age 24 for a more reliable star who can help them in the playoffs. But he also has a 15 percent trade kicker that complicates any deal for him, and then there is the multipronged talent that he displayed Wednesday against the Pistons (22 points on 12 shots, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks).
I could see them moving Smith for basketball reasons, but not for financial reasons -- not yet anyway.