Archive for May, 2009

Warning ! Review in Progress

That should be on a sign, and it should be posted on the outside of the door to Rick Sund’s office.

For like, a month.

The Hawks have made strides this season, as the record alone shows. They’ve won their first playoff series in roughly a decade. We should be celebrating, right? Ask the players and coaching staff if they feel like celebrating. Probably not very much, after getting ushered out of the postseason unceremoniously via a 4-game sweep. Injuries to key players had a lot to do with it. Injuries have a psychological effect as well as a physical one. But the Hawks weren’t the only team to experience this. Houston lost center Yao Ming. Orlando lost starting point guard Jameer Nelson well before the season ended. Boston lost Kevin Garnett. Perhaps, however, those are different stories. In each case, the team in question only experienced losing one major player to injury, whereas the Hawks had to deal with three starters not being anywhere near full health. That, and …

Continue reading Warning ! Review in Progress »

No Cure For Ugly

There just isn’t one. You can lose weight. You can gain muscle. You can get a tan. But cure ugly? Truly ugly? No help coming for that.

And ugly is exactly what the Hawks see right now, everywhere they look. Injuries and a 2 game deficit in a playoff series, to be more specific. Marvin Williams has a bad wrist, but wants to play more. Al Horford is obviously gimping around on an injured ankle, and doesn’t quite have the lateral movement or lift that he usually does. And now Joe Johnson has a bad ankle sprain. Just how bad remains to be seen, but we all know the deal by now: an ankles sprain is a debilitating thing, and it’s been the popular (not by choice) plague for Hawks players this season. It’s not like you come back from such an injury, fresh as can be. Neither Al Horford, nor Josh Smith came back from those completely, and they were out at for double figures in games, each. Joe Johnson has two days. As of right now, his status for game 3 is doubtful.

Even with all of …

Continue reading No Cure For Ugly »

Cavalier Attitude

We’ve talked off and on all season about swagger. The Hawks have talked often enough about it themselves. Tomorrow, they face a team that has more reason (on paper or plaque at least) to walk around with swagger than arguably any team in the league.

The Cleveland Cavaliers. Oh yeah. A team that boasts not only the 2009 Coach of they Year, but also the 2009 MVP. They have the league’s best regular season record. Oh, and they also have the league’s best defense, with a + 8.92 differential between what they average on offense vs. what they allow the opposition to average.

Wow. Is is just me, or does that sound like a more daunting matchup than the one we had last year, in which we faced off against the league’s best team? Deja Vu as it may seem, there is a difference between this year and last. Last year, the Hawks barely earned their way into the playoffs, which is rewarded with an automatic pairing up with the top team in the conference. This year, the Hawks have earned THE …

Continue reading Cavalier Attitude »

Let’s talk about Josh (and Game 7, too)

OK, I think folks (myself included) have blogged the first six games of this series into the ground.  And the same match-up assessments logically hold true.

So to cover some basic facts, and then move on, home-court advantage, for the Hawks, should give them an overwhelming opportunity to move on to round two.  But the issue of Al Horford’s ability to play, and to play at his usual level, is as prominent as any one could address.

Rather than go the straight-forward route, I’d like to veer off slightly, and “talk about Josh”.

This kid has been a lightning rod of blog disagreement for years (to maintain my long-standing position, I’ve never been too big on taking a side on Smith, preferring, over the years, to believe that, ultimately, both he and Marvin essentially see themselves as 3’s, or small forwards, in this league, and that for the Hawks to realistically challenge for an NBA Championship, one of them will need to move on, for a complementary center; the skills of that …

Continue reading Let’s talk about Josh (and Game 7, too) »