Confession: I really love Josh Smith.

On the inside of the locker room you have to respect that he works hard to remember everybody who regularly covers the team.

He is productive, efficient, a high-PER player. He is a very good help defender and with Al Horford they comprise one of the most solid, formidable defensive front lines, despite neither being near seven feet tall.

You also have to respect that every single offseason, this guy has worked hard to improve himself on the court in some way. One season it was working with Hakeem on his post game. The next it was a significant weight loss in anticipation of playing more small forward, so he could keep up defensively.

He wants to win. He wants the ATLANTA HAWKS to win. Does anyone who is looking from the outside -- heck, even the inside of Atlanta understand how radical that thought is? NOBODY cares about the Hawks from the outside and here Josh Smith is, a local guy, a guy who listened to Steve Holman, THE voice of the Hawks, and understands this franchise -- and loves this franchise.