More Evidence…

Saturday, March 6, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks are slowly turning doubters into believers. More and more analysts are labelling Atlanta as “contenders” these days and the evidence supporting the label continues to grow.

Last night’s win over Golden State Warriors showcased the Hawks scoring depth and versatility. Atlanta scored 127 points and Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford only had 24 between them. Thinking back to last season’s playoffs, especially in the East, the elite teams had their supporting cast step up and make big plays in big games. Orlando has “Superman” Dwight Howard, but it was Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Courtney Lee and the rest of their supporting cast that made the biggest difference last year when they upended the Cavs last year in the conference finals.

GROWTH SINCE LAST SEASON
Last year the Cavs swept the Hawks out of the second round. This year A) the Hawks are healthy, and B) the supporting cast has made big improvements.

Josh Smith’s improvement has been well documented all season long (see Lang’s latest feature: A ‘Smoove’ Upgrade), but his recent play has been even better. His scoring and assists have increased substantially since the All-Star break.

Al Horford is an All-Star and has shown the ability to have big offensive outbursts to go along with his dominating play on defense. Mike Bibby continues to spread the defense effectively and recently has caught fire from long range. Finally, someone (maybe Kirk Hinrich in Chicago) lit a fire under Marvin recently, and if he can maintain his aggressiveness he gives the Hawks a dominant rebounding trio and another scoring threat.

This doesn’t even mention the main scoring options. Joe was forced to settle for jump shots last year in the playoffs due to health issues with his ankle. Joe can still be effective shooting jump shots (see Game 7 in 2009 vs. Miami) but he can be dominant when he busts out his full arsenal (see Game 4 in 2008 vs. Boston). Plus, simply put, Jamal Crawford is “The Difference“.

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3 Responses to “More Evidence…”

  1. Mr.Hawk

    Can the Hawks please win the ones they are suppose to?!!!!!

    #902
  2. tony

    Don’t start blaming Crawford itslomotionbaby. Jamal is not the hawks problem. If you want to play the blame game then blame the owners. They don’t know what the hell they are doing. They hired 2 gms that don’t have championship credentials which means they don’t have a clue how to build a championship caliber team. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

    Starting with Billy Knight. This man was a complete joke. You got to be insane to draft six forwards in the 1st round every single year(2003 to 2007) as a gm. None of his picks have a high basketball IQ. Hortford is the most proven pf he drafted but he’s playing out of position. History shows that without a facilitator(true pg) and big(c) makes it almost impossible to get to the nba finals. SetBack Billy Knight traded 2 first round picks to bring JJ to Atlanta which was a terrible move because JJ has a low basketball IQ. Let me explain what I mean.

    I know JJ is not a Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, John Stockton or a Kobe Bryant but he doesn’t make the appropiate decisions at the nba level. I’m not saying that those guys never committed a turnover or made a mistake, they just made fewer then the rest. They also were able to elevate their play and thought process during the most high-pressure moments. These players exhibited the same abilities and instincts. They knew when to pass and when to shoot. They could all make the great pass. They all could make the big shot. Not freaking out at chunch time is BIG when determining a basketball IQ.

    Rick Sund really disappointed me when he draft Jeff Teague. Jeff Teague is a hundred years away from being a facilitator(true pg). Before the draft I pleaded for Sund not to take Teague because Teague is only a dunker and shooter. Believe it or not but I was hoping they would take either Eric Maynor or Darren Collison in the 1st round because of their assists and leadership ability.

    Here’s a few high IQ players the hawks should pursue in 2011:

    #1 Kobe Bryan (He will never leave LA)

    #2 Dwyane Wade (We should push hard to get Wade to come to the ATL)

    #3 LeBron James(He will stay in Cleveland)

    #4 Raymond Felton (He might be our only option-get it done Sund)

    #5 Dirk Nowitzki

    #6 Carlos Boozer

    #7Chris Bosh

    By the way, Sund should really consider signing Avery Johnson to be the hawks next hc in 2011.

    #907
  3. atownhawk23 Aka JJ's lil Protege

    You know what I am sick of y’all hawks fans because all y’all do is complain complain and complain some more. All y’all do is stay on blogs talking all that smack, which most of you probably don’t go to any games because you are busy just sitting here on the computer all day long. How about y’all get y’all buts out there on the court and play some ball(like that would ever happen)since y’all think y’all know what should happen. Why won’t you people let them do their jobs, and appreciate the team that you have. Oh yeah, GET RID OF JJ, ARE YOU SERIOUS? DO THAT YOU WON’T SEE NOBODY UP IN THAT ARENA FOR REAL!!!

    AND Y’ALL ARE THE MOST ANNOYING FANS I EVER KNEW! MAN JUST SHUT THE CRAP UP AND STOP C-O-M-P-L-A-I-N-I-N-G!!!

    GO HAWKS!!!! JJ I STILL GOT MY SUPPORT FOR YOU!!!

    #909