With ten games left in the season, the Atlanta Hawks certainly will not be able to match last year’s regular season record. Unless they play very well (and their opponents play very badly), they won’t match the record of the season before that, either. So with that in mind, what do we as fans want to see from our team? Now let’s be realistic – we all want to see different things. But in the interest of waiting for what many of us feel is inevitable, let’s explore some ideas.
One Final Push
It’s not easy for a team to maintain a steady pace towards the end of the NBA season, let alone make a strong final push. Right now, the teams in the East that seem to be doing this are Chicago, Miami, and Orlando, having gone a combined 23-7 in their last 10 games played apiece. Could Atlanta make a strong push to end the season? Would it matter? After all, the Hawks are 6.5 games behind Orlando, and the simple fact is this – even if they were to snatch the 4th seed away from the Magic, they’d still be matched up against them in the playoffs. So is a final push a worthy goal?
Make Some Noise in the Playoffs
One bit of useless consolation is the all-but-guaranteed fact that the Hawks will make the playoffs. What seed they retain is another story that isn’t yet told, but that may be besides the point. An Atlanta squad that can’t seem to get it together towards the end of the regular season doesn’t seem likely to do much in the postseason, where they will face only the winning teams. But what if they were able to shake their doldrums long enough to make their matchup competitive? What if they won the dreaded first round matchup with Orlando that looms larger and larger every day? Could it happen, or is it a pipe dream? Have we reached the point where all we can hope for is that they avoid a sweep? Wait…what if they don’t avoid the sweep?
Do Something Sensible with the Lineup
Now that head coach Larry Drew has everyone in the Northern Hemisphere confused as to what he wants to do with the playing rotation, might it be too much to ask if he just…you know…did something normal and sensible, like play the same 8 or 9 guys? How about going with matchups that work (and not going away from them later in the game)? Would it be so bad to let Jeff Teague play again sometime soon? Surely there is something that Drew could do to help his team (and their fans) feel some solidarity. Just limping into the postseason isn’t going to cut it. The Hawks need something more, and maybe Drew can provide that for once. Or….maybe it’s too late for any contributions on his part. What do you think?
Get It Together
That admonishment is for the team, which seems to be about as split on the court as they could possibly be. I mean, what gives? The losing mentality has begun to take its toll in ways that we just couldn’t have seen. Al Horford, once thought to be the future leader of this team, mostly ends up point out the painfully obvious, although he certainly has a point. The problem is, Al doesn’t respond by reverting to the rugged ways of his first two or three years in the League. Meanwhile, somebody needs to file a missing persons report on Joe and Jamal. Josh Smith probably still thinks that team unity is defined by how often these guys hang out together away from work. Can these guys actually find some semblance of pride and play together for a few games? Are the playoffs merely a formality standing between them and summer fun? Are they just flat out done or can they show us something like they did against Detroit? Any highlights left in the ol’ Factory?
So what do YOU want to see out of this team in the last 10 games and the postseason? Or are you just waiting for the end?
Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog