Last week in this space, we discussed the commitments made by Hawks youngster Marvin Williams toward improving his game and continuing his education this summer.
Next up on the self-improvement line is newly re-signed Josh Smith.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Sekou Smith:
Josh Smith was spotted Saturday playing in the championship game of the Wallace Prather Jr. Pro Summer League and left an indelible impression on those of us who hadn’t seen him since the Hawks’ playoff run ended in that Game 7 loss in Boston in early May. He’s transformed his upper body into a sculpted mass of muscles. He looked as physically imposing as I’ve ever seen him while tussling with an array of other Atlanta-born, bred or based pros at the Adamsville Recreational Center Saturday afternoon.
Smith’s added bulk doesn’t necessarily appear to be added weight either. He’s literally transformed his upper body. The added strength is something he’ll need this season as well, what with all the heavy lifting he and Al Horford will have to do in the paint if the Hawks are going to chase the playoffs again.
Just more for Hawks fans to be excited about.
And it's not just for Hawks fans. Observers around the league have plenty of reason to be interested in the folks from Atlanta.
Smith was already one of the league's most intriguing youngsters thanks to his dazzling array of raw talents. That he has put the work in on his body will only make him more dangerous in the year to come. Combine Smith's increased strength with Williams' off-season work, another year of age for Al Horford and the experience of Joe Johnson truly coming into his own this past post-season, and no matter what the standings say at the end, the Hawks will give people reason to watch once more this year.