Hope you are doing well. Got some links, one of which will lead me to a question.
First, a hoopsworld.com column touting big things from the Hawks next season.
“(T)he Hawks need to stay together for another year, when they’ll likely be atop the East and have a legitimate shot at the NBA championship.”
A must-read for any Hawks fan. Slam writer Lang Whitaker got virtually unlimited access to the Hawks on their road trip to Dallas in early December. There’s some great stuff in here.
Dime magazine says that Josh Smith is one of the top five athletes in the NBA.
The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro weighs in on the Suns as they near the halfway point of the season.
Does this sound familiar?
“The only difference I can see is that we were hungrier at the start of the year,” Steve Nash said. “We left nothing to chance. We came out and played hard and were rewarded for it. I don’t feel like we’ve had the same attention to detail and hunger. We’ve got to get back to being a little bit more desperate.”
Lastly, ESPN’s Playoff Odds predictor projects the Hawks to go 52-30 for the season, which would be a fourth-place finish in the East, behind Cleveland (60-22), Boston (54-28) and Orlando (53-29). (Which, if that turned out to be the case, would be a pretty entertaining finish.
With the Hawks at 25-13 right now, that means a 27-17 finish. I’m wondering if you all would take that right now if offered. Here’s what I think. I think the Hawks are kind of like the Suns. They started out hot (11-2) and have since gone 14-11. I think the start maybe gave a false sense of how good this team was. The thing with having such a strong stretch to open the season is that it’s so much more obvious and makes more of an impression than if you go 11-2 in the middle of the season. It probably led us to think they were capable of a little more than we’d originally thought.
I’m now going to wow you with some math. To go 25-13 basically means you’re winning two out of three. If the Hawks had done that since the start of the season, winning 3, losing two, winning four, losing two, rather than getting wins in bigger chunks, I wonder if we would feel differently about the Hawks than we do. I imagine 52-30 would look a lot more appealing than I bet it does to a lot of you right now.
But I’d guess the reality of the NBA is that’s probably how most teams will get to 52 wins: Get hot, go cold, tread water, get hot again.
You could certainly say that the fact that the Hawks can go 11-2 or win six in a row, beat Dallas in Dallas, go 3-0 against Boston, etc. says something about the team’s ceiling, and that’s why losing four in a row is intolerable. To that, I’d argue that Toronto just won eight of nine. Indiana won five in a row, beating Boston in the process, in November. Perhaps a hot stretch like that is more attainable than maybe we think.
But, anyway, looking forward, here’s the thing about finishing 27-13. If the Hawks are to finish with 52 wins, that means that, if they rip off a five- or six-game winning streak, it likely means they’ll also flop through a three-game losing streak here and there, or a stretch whey go W-L-W-L-W-L. But at the end of the season, they’d end up at 52 wins, which is no small accomplishment, obviously.
So, I’m wondering, would you take 52-30?
And my other question. I haven’t done this in awhile, and I think I’ll have time before the game starts to ask questions for you. If you have anything you want asked, let me know. I’ll try to get my four or five favorite questions answered and post answers in the pre-game thread.
Or… if you want to ask them yourselves why, here’s your chance. The Hawks are holding their annual “Full Court Fest” event January 23. As the press release says:
Guests will have the opportunity to rub elbows with the entire roster of Hawks players and coaches, as well as team legends and executives, while playing a variety of casino games, and other interactive elements. In addition to challenging all comers at the gaming tables, Hawks players will be mixing and mingling with guests, signing autographs, and posing for pictures.
It’s Jan. 23 at Ventanas (rooftop of the Park Pavilion Building in downtown). It’s $125 and benefits the Hawks Foundation.
If you can spring for it, I bet a lot of you would enjoy getting to meet the players on the roster. I’ve found them to be a pretty good group of guys. For more information, go to hawks.com.