According to NBA.com, a little over 6 days and 14 hours remains before the NBA deadline is up. Normally, most Atlanta fans would half-heartedly lament the lack of rumors surrounding the Hawks, or talk of unrealistic trade proposals. Not this year. Since when is a winning record and a mere 1 game out of 4th place in the East cause for such alarm? Since when does a guaranteed playoff spot leave such feelings of gloom and doom?
Do we as Hawks fans not appreciate the team’s 34 victories in 55 tries? Or is it something else?
Good teams do this, Good teams do that…
It has gotten to the point where nearly every Atlanta win comes with a handful of caveats. Well, at least if you’re reading the blogs and what not. But it’s not just local fans and media. It’s everywhere. Why? It’s now just about who you beat. It’s also about who you don’t beat. The Hawks may have a better road record this season, but they are 6-13 against teams with winning records. Needless to say (and I’m going to say it anyway), this does not bode well for the postseason. Good teams compete well against other good teams. The Hawks have not done that this season, for the large part. Good teams find a way to overcome injuries to regular rotation players. The Hawks have done that this season. Good teams know their identity and their gameplan. The Hawks act like they can only remember this for a game at a time, and sometimes only for a quarter at a time. Are the Hawks a good team, or simply one with a winning record? Like all things, this is debatable. But it’s going to be hard to argue 6-13. It’s just not what good teams do.
As usual, there isn’t much going on out there about the Hawks and who they might like to acquire. The lone bit of noise being made has to do with alleged interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions. It’s hard to see how Sessions would make the Hawks instant or even eventual Eastern Conference Championship contenders, and adding him is a subject of some debate as well. While some stat experts can show that Sessions has issues on defense, could he really be worse than Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford? Interestingly enough, there isn’t much being said about his offense, which certainly has its moments. The Hawks aren’t likely to get better at the point guard position through trade or free agency, but maybe that’s not the bandaid they should reach for right now. Maybe they should focus on having a guy who can drive the ball to the basket, find his teammates when the defense collapses, and shoot from where he knows how to shoot. Is it the total package? No, certainly not. But with Bibby’s lack of penetration and Jamal’s lack of “makes his teammates better”, maybe the Hawks should settle for solving one problem instead of continuing to strike out on two of them. Is Sessions worth the pursuit? Can the Hawks do better? What do YOU think?
Rock the boat, don’t rock the boat
The only thing worse than a dejected fan is an apathetic fan. If Hawks management and ownership can’t see this, then they are blind, deaf, and dumb. But that’s precisely what is happening. Gone is the team that defended home court with a zeal not easily matched last season. In it’s place is the same guys, but the passion appears to be missing. Larry Drew says the team has become too comfortable. Is he not part of this comfort level? General manager Rick Sund needs to rock the boat. He needs to rock it hard enough that the occupants think it’s going to capsize and begin holding on for dear life. But, this is not Sund’s way. The problem is that the entire organization seems quite well lulled to sleep. Even the finger pointing has all but stopped (sans Al Horford’s recent post game comments about not getting the ball enough). Perhaps nothing is worse than having one of your team captains say that everything is alright, when so many things clearly are NOT alright. Don’t tell Drew, but I think some of the players (too many of them) are still drinking the koolaid. Things only get worse after the all-star break. The Hawks only managed to sustain a single winning streak of longer than 3 games this season, and the schedule has been rather favorable. What are they going to do against all these winning teams that are coming up?
Time to rock the boat, Rick Sund. The occupants are mostly asleep, and the ship’s captain looks like he’s contemplating abdication.
So will the Hawks stand pat once more? Will they make any move of significance? Does anybody in the front office even care? We’ll know soon enough.
By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest