Three Days Until the Atlanta Hawks’ Season

Sunday, October 27, 2013
By Robby Kalland

Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls

We are counting down the days until the Hawks’ season-opener in Dallas by giving you 50 things to be excited about this year. With three days left, today’s reason is…

Josh Smith’s Return

Josh Smith spent nine years patrolling the frontcourt for the Hawks. This offseason Smith became a free agent and signed with the Pistons, and he will make his first trip to Philips Arena as a visitor on Nov. 20. Smith is on the all-time franchise leaderboard in almost every statistical category: games played (ninth), minutes played (fifth), points scored (eighth), field goals made (seventh), field goals attempted (eighth), three-point field goals made (eighth), three-point field goals attempted (seventh), free throws made (ninth), free throws attempted (seventh), total rebounds (seventh), defensive rebounds (third), offensive rebounds (sixth), assists (tenth), steals (fifth) and blocks (second).

Smith’s return to Philips Arena will be both a career homecoming and personal homecoming. Smith is an Atlanta native and spent his entire professional career in the city he grew up in. The first visit by a player back to the city they played for an extended period of time is always emotional, but Smith’s will be even more special because Atlanta was not just his professional home for nine years but his personal home for his entire life.

Smoove’s return with the Pistons will be an emotional night for Smith as well as the fans that watched him develop from a young, raw, athletic kid into one of the league’s best defensive power forwards and a terrific overall player. The Hawks and Josh grew together over his career, as the Hawks went from a struggling franchise to a perennial playoff contender during Smith’s career, and he was a key player and a leader in the Hawks’ rebuild in the mid-2000s and their six consecutive trips to the playoffs from 2008-2013.

Smith will return with a revamped Pistons team that signed Brandon Jennings as well as Smith this offseason and will be looking to get back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Smith joins a massive Pistons frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, which will make the on-court matchup between the Pistons’ size and the Hawks’ speed very intriguing. Smith’s return is definitely a game many of us have circled on our calendars, as we await the opportunity to welcome back one of the best in Hawks’ history.

We also want your input. What are you most excited about this upcoming season.  Leave a comment below to let us know, and we may feature your idea in our countdown!

Day 50 – New Faces
Day 49 – First Pelicans Visit
Day 48 – Hawks Social Media
Day 47 – Dennis Schröder
Day 46 – Celebrities at Philips Arena
Day 45 – All-Star Game
Day 44 – Hawks Footwear
Day 43 – Sky Hawk and the Sky Squad
Day 42 – Bakersfield Jam
Day 41 – John Jenkins & Mike Scott
Day 40 – SkyView Atlanta
Day 39 – Drew and Pachulia’s Return
Day 38 – Junior Cheerleaders
Day 37 – Production Day
Day 36 – Hawks Intro Video
Day 35 – Overtime Games
Day 34 – Fan Experiences
Day 33 – Learning Foreign Languages
Day 32 – Gustavo Ayón
Day 31 – Open Practice
Day 30 – Live Streaming/Hawks.com
Day 29 – Ryan Cameron
Day 28 – Bob Rathbun & Dominique Wilkins
Day 27 – Paul Millsap
Day 26 – Hawks Shop
Day 25 – Players On Twitter
Day 24 – Kiss Cam
Day 23 – Hawks 6th Man
Day 22 – Harry The Hawk
Day 21 – Junior Cheerleaders
Day 20 – Hawks In Transition
Day 19 – Crazy Half-Court Shots at Halftime
Day 18 – DeMarre Carroll
Day 17 – Hawks Cheerleaders
Day 16 – Dunks
Day 15 – Al Horford’s Mid-Range Game
Day 14 – Friday Night Lights
Day 13 – MLK Day
Day 12 – Steve Holman and 92.9 The Game
Day 11 – Buzzer Beaters
Day 10 – Hawks Membership
Day 9 – Coach Bud Returns To San Antonio
Day 8 – Pick & Roll
Day 7 – Lou Williams’ Return
Day 6 – Three-Point Barrages
Day 5 – London
Day 4 – Kyle Korver’s Streak

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/NBAE/Getty Images

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