Emeka Okafor goes up for a shot….and gets rejected by the Hawks one-man SWAT team, Joooooooosh Smiiiiiiiith! Well, that’s not how it was said by the announcer, but that’s what I heard in my own head (I like to call it selective announcement…I use it sometimes when Dominique is talking).
Gotta love it. As I watched this play happen, another thought popped in my head: I haven’t seen too many of those from Amare Stoudamire. It’s not often that you see him sky over a teammate AND the opposing player for a block. The desire. The timing. The sheer effort and elite physicality of it. It boggles the minds of opponents, teammates, and fans alike. It makes a lot of opponents nervous around the rim, because once Josh does it…he’s liable to do it again. Soon. Does Stoudamire inspire such feelings in opponents? By the way, if you’re miffed that I’m not spelling the guy’s name “right”, I reserve the right not to. After all, what can you expect from a hack?
Early and mid February is always a fun time if you follow the trade rumors. I swear it’s more about the anticipation than anything else. Yet every year, something happens that changes things. Really changes things. If not for the whole league, or one of the conferences, then at least for a couple of teams. Last year was a dominoe effect out West, the likes of which has not been seen in some time. One team made great strides. Two others have found themselves either in limbo, or on a downward spiral. What will this year’s trade deadline frenzy bring?
As most of you already know, Al Horford and Josh Smith have been the most oft-mentioned names on the subject of trade here in Hawksville. Well, lately anyway. Usually it’s Marvin Williams (year after year). This time it’s Smith and Horford, a pair of forwards that you’d think wouldn’t be mentioned as much in trade talk. The reason? Well, the aforementioned Phoenix Suns power forward of course-Mr. Stoudamire. The question is simple. What would we or should we give up to get this guy? Some people have advocated throwing everything at the Suns but the kitchen sink (and maybe that, too). Of course, we’ve just about done this once already, but that’s another story. Others say Stoudamire isn’t worth the bother, despite all-star status, and high-level performances from year to year. Some would say that Stoudamire is what he is primarily because of the Suns’ otherworldly point guard, Steve Nash. While this matter is certainly debatable, I’m inclined to think this is no more true for Stoudamire than it is for Marion. Nash makes anybody worth their NBA socks better, but both of those guys have talent of their own.
Those who want the Hawks to acquire Stoudamire end up hashing out whether it is better to center the trade package around Josh Smith or Al Horford. Both ideas have their merits, if you want the trade to happen. No matter which it is, if the Hawks are able to acquire Stoudamire, the situation is a risky one. Stoudamire could opt out of his contract in 2010 (or afterwards, I forget what exactly the deal is). And he’s not known for his defense. Questions abound about his attitude (though there have been tumultous changes in Phoenix lately), and his character abound, though I don’t recall him getting into any particular trouble. But one big question remains. Do the Hawks even have a chance at Stoudamire? Perhaps. But then, perhaps not. Some media sources are saying that Stoudamire is headed elsewhere, and that it will be a Western team that he goes to, as the Suns try to reload with a bit of youth. Who knows. One rumor is as “reliable” as another, after all.
Getting past that one, should the Hawks even make a move of that magnitude? Or should they try something more subtle? Should the Hawks just weather the storm of rumors, frantic phone calls, and general knee jerk reactions? Is Chris Bosh (another name mentioned in trade rumors, and amongst the Hawks faithful) a better answer? It’s true that the Hawks appear firmly entrenched as the 4th seed in the East. For now. Lord knows things can change over the next 34 games (including tonight’s contest). One wonders if there is a way to make a move that makes this team better both now and in the future, without completely upsetting the chemistry?
Well, back to the game, where we trail the Bobcats by a about a half-dozen points. Emeka Okafor already has a double-double, we’re shooting 10% less than the ‘Cats, and nobody in a Hawks uniform is playing very well, save Mo Evans. I have to add that Bibby seems to be picking it up a bit. Charlotte always gives us a hard time, but it would be nice to get a win against these guys on the road, especially without Joe Johnson. This would go a long way in helping to build consistency, and therefore confidence….and therefore more consistency.
Meanwhile, those trade winds continue to blow. Your thoughts?