Monday, September 29, 2008

NBA Pre-Hibachi: Atlanta Hawks

THE OLD : They were 37-45 last season, which is definitely terrible since they are in a weaker conference. However, much of the damage was done the first half of the season, prior to acquiring Mike Bibby. They were much more improved after the break and pushing the eventual champs to the limit in the first round definitely showed it. Josh Childress is now counting his Euros in Greece. Salim Stoudemire is now a Spur.

THE NEW: They retained Josh Smith and picked up Flip Murray. They had no draft selections. No Childress means more minutes at the 3/4 spots for guys like Williams and Evans.

THE TRUTH: Here's another team that could use some depth, but with a more than respectable starting 5. Their backcourt is definitely set this year with solid backups in Law, Claxton, and Flip. the 3 spot might be inconsistent and perhaps we'll see JJ and Flip play together and Smith should slide in at time also.. Horford and Zaza will hold down the 5 and share sometime at the 4 along with Smith. This is what makes this team so dangerous. They have multiple players who can slide over not just one spot, but 2 and even 3. This gives the coach several options and makes them difficult to match up against. Mark Price is now their shooting coach, which hopefully should benefit Smith the most, like he wasn't dangerously good already. Here's how the spots should look:

Bibby- Law - Claxton

JJ - Flip Murray - Thomas Gardner

Marvin - Mo Evans

Josh Smith - Solomon Jones - Othello Hunter

Horford - Zaza - Randolph Morris

One spot open, but don't expect more than a benchwarmer to fill that spot. The east still isn't a beast, but teams are slowly improving and gaining experience. The Hawks should do better this year, even without Childress. They are a playoff team, but still a lower seed. I totally expect them to scare the hell out of another top seed again this season though, quite possibly upsetting them this time. I wouldn't be surprised if they snuck into the middle seeds since there are still questions on how other eastern teams will mesh. There's rumors of a Bibby trade somewhere down the line, which makes sense since he's not exactly in line with the rest of this team's core. He's making almost 16 mil and this is his final year. I just hope they don't do something stupid and trade him for AI or someone like that. They need to keep it young and versatile.


Hursty said...

Atlanta Falcons! I cant see these guys getting better than a 50% season. The hawks (in my mind) are a highlight waiting to happen. Problem is, they cant put it all together and dont seem to have an identity as yet. Is it defense and hustle? D and boards? Fast break +hustle? Tempo ball?

Anonymous said...

Amazingly! Amazingly!

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