Archive for October, 2009

Hawks Party Like a Ferrari!

Wow, who are these guys?!

As all of you must know, the Hawks opened the regular season with a 120-109 home court victory over what looked to be, before tip-off, an inferior Indiana Pacers squad.  After opening a lot of eyes in the preseason, by crossing the century mark 5 times, the Hawks cranked it up like the 1990-91 Denver Nuggets.  Was that Mike Woodson prowling the sidelines, or Mike Westhead.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Paul Westhead-coached Nuggets of that season, they averaged just under 120 point per game.  Unfortunately, they gave up 130 and won only 20 games.

Now, clearly, coming off of last season, where the Hawks nailed down the fourth seed in the East, and had their best season in over a decade, there are no concerns about the Hawks “running and gunning” their way back to the basement of the conference.  But the lack of defense, especially coming from a Woodson-coached team (with his track record as a “defensive” coach not only well established, but …

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Opening “The Factory” against the Pacers

 

Well, here we go at last! The regular season begins for the Atlanta Hawks in two days, and it starts with two games at home against Eastern Conference opponents, followed by a 4 game swing out west. Hawks fans couldn’t ask for a much better way to begin the season than to have the first two games at home. Well, a victory would sure be nice. Two victories would be even better. In fact, that should be the expectation, particularly because the Hawks played pretty well at home last season, and certainly finished the season better than the two teams they’ll face first this season.

Up first is the Indiana Pacers, a team that is most likely doomed to struggle this season, particularly without forward Mike Dunleavy. Danny Granger will get his points and Troy Murphy will get his rebounds. Jeff Foster will be tough and solid. Roy Hibbert showed himself to be serviceable in somewhat limited minutes last season. TJ Ford is quick and can score a little on his own. Beyond that, the Pacers …

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Turning the page

Wow.

I just got back from reading Sekou Smith’s (the Hawks awesome beat writer) blog, and….I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this many well-wishers for guys who were looking to make the Hawks squad out of training camp. Is that really how far things have come? I mean, we talk about the evolution of this team, this organization, this coaching staff. But how about this fan base? Have we evolved along with this team as well? I think most of us can agree that we’ve complained about plenty of things in the past. And there are some things we STILL complain about. We’re fans. We pay for a product, we all want to see what we want to see, and we all have an opinion, though that tends to vary from person to person. Still, seeing that many people posting actual heartfelt replies about guys who we knew were longshots to make the roster says something. Maybe this entire Hawks culture is changing. Maybe we as fans are turning the page.

Uh, okay. Let me pump the brakes on that one. Fact is, the …

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Past promises must become future deliveries

Remember, Woody always sounds good this time of year,” longtime Hawks fan MannyT remarked to me once, in a response to an admittedly overly exuberant blog post by yours truly. 

All too true. I’d been a bit too excited over some of the things Hawks head coach Mike Woodson had been saying (hey, in my weak defense, they were things we hadn’t heard from him the whole time he’s been here), when my fellow Hawkster brought me back to earth. Was I guilty of being overly bouyant? Probably.

Let’s review a bit. We’ve heard that we’re going to run more. Put simply, it didn’t happen. Oh sure, we tried it for a couple of games. Then things got a bit shaky, and right back to walk-it-up offense we went. Again, it’s a debate. Were the Hawks not running because they simply weren’t ready, or were they not ready because they didn’t push through the inevitable misfires that come when a team begins to consistently run a fast break for the first time?

How about the edict that we must find ways to …

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I know it’s just preseason, but….

….But Mike Bibby is shooting lights out. As in, he’s shooting like the lights are out, and it’s dark as David Stern’s gaze when somebody mentions NBA officials. Come on, Mike. Less than 31%, and half of your attempts from 3 point range…again? It might just be preseason, but I don’t like how this looks one bit. Not after watching him fade down the stretch last season. Not after watching him take more shots than guys like Horford and Josh (although, they did miss games). He’s a pro and still one of the deadlier shooters in the league. Let’s hope his shot doesn’t get to be like his defense.

….But, Garrett Siler isn’t getting much burn. And when he is, there isn’t a whole lot of production. Of course, as some note, the boxscore only tells you so much. But the lack of playing time bothers me. Shouldn’t he be getting more time, considering that it’s the preseason, and Woody is highly unlikely to play him anymore during the season than he did Randolph Morris last season. Not with …

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Re-evolution is best for Hawks, Joe Johnson

 

 

For probably just the second time in his NBA career, Joe Johnson finds himself at a crossroads. He has one year left on his current contract. His team is looking to make the jump from playoff-maker to contender. He is still looking for the respect due a person of his talents. Where does he go from here? Well, “where he goes” is not so much about next summer as it is about the season that starts in 15 days.

Now I know what you might be thinking. This is all just going to be more noise about Joe not signing the contract extension offered by the Hawks. I assure you it’s not. If you ask me, that is only part of why he is at a crossroads, and it is not even the driving reason behind it all. Without exacerbating the point, we’ve seen all of this before with other teams and players. No, this is about something else. Something I like to call re-evolution. It’s sort of like “coming full circle.” Players get into the league and if all goes well, they evolve to the point of where …

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Thoughts from the Hawks faithful

As we wade through the slow-moving quagmire that is the NBA preseason,  the mind of the impatient Hawks fan needs something else to feed on. Oh sure, there are the usual arguments and discussions that we continue to hash over, while complaining on occasion about the repetition that many of us continue to perpetuate. Ironic, eh?

Really, we should be glad that we are impatient. In the not-so-distant past, there was little anticipation of the beginning of the regular season (except for the diehard fan who willingly succumbs to that once-familiar illusion of eternal summer hope). In fact, it was more often a resignation, an acceptance of the inevitable pain of regular season reality, and preposterous postseason pipe dreams.

But now? Oh, not now! Now we strut into the face of the regular season, knowing that our team IS a bonafide playoff team. Now we move forward, not hoping to sneak up on success. Now we talk of levels of success, and what is needed to attain each new level …

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Blending in, standing out, surviving the game

Have you ever seen that movie “Surviving the Game”, with former rap star-turned television and movie actor, Ice-T? I always liked that movie. Not just because of Ice-T. I liked the performances and characters played by Charles S. Dutton and Rutger Hauer as well. Not to mention that crazy Gary Busey. Dude has always been crazy in his roles. I’m not even sure he was acting. But that was one of the things (or should I say “themes”) that came to mind when I thought about Hawks training camp. That and the reality television series, “Survivor” (something I tired of somewhat quickly, for various reasons), to a much lesser extent.

Training camp will not feature such brutal action as Ice-T’s movie (or so we hope, we don’t need any injuries). Nor will it feature the drama of forged alliances-turned-betrayals, as we saw in “Survivor.” No necklace of immunity (sorry, Mario West), and no “me against the world and these crazy group of guys with guns” (VaVa74 will be relieved, heh heh).  But …

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