Opportunity for Hunter as West leaves the Nest

Thursday, October 22, 2009
By feo_admin

With the roster trimmed down to 13 after waving Mario West, Courtney Sims and Garret Siler, the last man standing is Othello Hunter. Without question the effort, intensity and aggressive defense of Mario will be missed, but Hunter could help himself and his team with his shot.

Mario West was and is the consummate hustle man, never showing a lack of passion and showed no fear in guarding anyone in front of his path. West is just an all around good story- a guy who walks on to make his college team, walks in to camp to make a pro team, and never took anything for granted. But with Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford added room just seemed to run out. Man I will miss him!

It was a tough draw for the others released as well. Courtney Sims was athletic but had to “wow” a lot of evaluators. Garrett Siler was a big man who had a lot of potential this summer on a team that would love to have as much beef as possible, but now with a big man stable of Al Horford, Jason Collins, Zaza, and even Randolph Morris if need be at center, the Hawks have a number of big guys under contract.

Othello has spent time on the bench, hard sessions in practice and even had a stint in the D-league. But the biggest factor in his current roster spot is that he is a power forward on a team in need…of a power forward. After Josh and Joe Smith there is need for another guy. Othello has fans in his teammates.

Josh Smith thinks highly of Hunter. Smoove said that Hunter is raw but athletic, and can be “savage” in going after rebounds. Rebounding may trump Mario’s hustle, and the addition of guards didn’t do the “hustleman” any favors either.

While the guard position has Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague as the two point guards for the squad, Jamal Crawford can play the point as well, in essence giving the team three.

Did the Hawks keep the right player? Did the Hawks add to the right position? The rebounding from the bench may tell the story.

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14 Responses to “Opportunity for Hunter as West leaves the Nest”

  1. MBoogie

    The Hawks should have kept West. He’s a positive addition to the team. His work efforts surely inspire the franchise. They don’t have anyone else who can fill that role.

  2. Dusty

    Mark it down now: Mario West is going to punk Joe Johnson at least once this season for whatever team picks him up. Last year he put the clamp on DWade, Kobe, LeBron, getting a steal on all 3 with his agressive D. He could be the next Bruce Bowen if he keeps working on that outside shot.

    We have 3 guys that can play the point, but now zero guys that can guard the point. Hawks may rue this decision.

  3. Black Lois Lane

    Great blog Brandon, I enjoyed it!

  4. Hawk in Hawaii

    I guess locking down Kobe, Tony Parker and D-Wade isn’t good enough. I hope this works. Let’s Go Hawks.

  5. Mr. Hawk

    What a story? Douglas County High, Georgia Tech and Atlanta Hawks. Metro Atlanta, we have lost the ultimate professional. I guess the basketball gods needed him to uplift another team. I can definitely see him being an excellent coach. Keep your head up! And when he comes back to Philips, STANDING OVATIONS!!!

  6. Anonymous Hawks Guy

    He’ll get picked up, he works too hard. He was an awesome on-the-ball defender who had no problem guarding the other team’s best player, in which the Hawks does not have now. I can understand the move however, as the Hawks were not a great rebounding team, so more bigs at the 4 and 5 position would help.

    I just think Marion could have remained that situation player that comes in when defensive stops were needed. He has the crowd presence that motivates the team to work harder during games and the work ethic to become a better defender. He knew his role well and was grateful for it. He’ll be an asset to any team he joins. Great luck in the future Mr. West!!!! ***ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR RIO***

  7. The Truth


    Mario West was OK on defense. The reason for that is he could use 100% of his effort on defense because a) he never played more than 15 minutes and b) he was complete non-factor on the offensive end. Any scorer on the floor got a constant double team when Mario was in the game. Our offense was anemic while he was in unless we were running fast breaks which isn’t really our style anyways. The only way I could see anyone missing him is as a novelty. “Shutting down” Kobe and Wade for 10 minutes a game doesn’t do much except ignite their competitive sides.

  8. Melanie

    Now Mario, I’ve seen what he can do and I love it. From his work ethic to his actual skills. I can’t say the same about Othello…hope he proves me wrong.

  9. atownhawk23

    I like your blog.

    No, I don’t think the Hawks kept the right player because Randolph Morris sucks, and there goes Mario West’s spot on the team.

    I don’t think the Hawks retarded, jerks, cheap, fools, and devastating organization did any outstanding or impressing moves this off season because the New Players in exception of Jeff Teague aren’t impressing, and they don’t make no difference from last year’s season.

    1) The Hawks 08-09 team were exciting to watch.
    2) Last season’s team was better.
    3) Our really sucks and are some sissies.
    4) It seems that our team gets lamer and lamer as the years go on.
    5) Stop focusing on the Celtics and GET ON YOUR JOB!!!
    6) Get a better staff and FIX THIS LAME, PIECE OF TRASH WEBSITE!!!


    Go Hawks, but Mostly Joe Johnson. (Haters Kick Rocks)
    LOL :)

  10. Hawksgirl

    Nice blog brandon, finally good to see your work. Looks like you will do fine.

    But othello could turn out to be what we need so cant stress what has already been done.

    No comment on the last preseason game(we know why)

    Just ready for the regular season. Let’s Go Hawks!

  11. jeff b gibson

    Randolph Morris Looked Good as well as Zaza and Horford, But Dwight Howard was unbelievable. Joe Smith I haven’t seen him play in a Hawks Uniform so Far, or Jason Collins. It would have been Good to Have Courtney Sims and Garrett Silar but I guess there’s only so many spots on a team. You look around on some of the other big men on NBA Teams and About the only Surprise you see is that Toronto’s not playing Patrick O’Bryant Much in Preseason or for that matter in the season. He’s 3 year veteran, at 23 years 0ld,
    7-0 foot 249, $1.5 Million last year ‘s contract. Maybe if you can fit him on team He would be worth a Second or a First round pick.
    He was good not getting minutes, but if given playing time , Who’s The Next Dwight Howard? You Are loaded with talent but there will always be an off night, When nobody’s hot but at least Bench got some minutes. Teague ‘s first off night but he’s going to be good , but if miss like 3-5 in row try for an assist.

  12. atownhawk23


    HA HA

  13. Mz. Hawkdafied

    Othello definitely earned that last spot.

  14. Anonymous Hawks Guy

    So The Truth, you’re telling me that you would have kept Randolph Morris over West? Much of what you said was crap, but I will break it down for you. First, Mario gave 100% EVERY NIGHT he was on the floor, playing tough defense and rebounding very well while in the game. West was a nice slasher to the basket, but his defense is what won him a spot on the team in the first place. The Hawks have a TON of other scorers on the team, they needed him for DEFENSE in general.

    Being at that first game last Wednesday night, it clearly showed how much is defensive presence was missed. EARL WATSON scored 20 points and Dahntay Jones scored 17, WTF????? It’s players like West, Bruce Bowen, Dahntay Jones whose careers lasts a long time, b/c they are DEFENSIVE specialists. All Mario has to work on is a 17-20 footer and he’ll be fine. Defense wins championships my friend, no offense!

    atownhawk23, I agree that they should have taken West b/c Morris is garbage, but all your other points were pretty much idiotic. Not gonna go into a drawn out speech, but it’s just my opinion, everyone has one…. Good luck Hawks against the Wizards tonite!