Whaddya think about 52 wins?

Greetings, all-

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.

68 comments Add your comment

JerryWest

January 15th, 2010
10:07 am

All we need to do is get two extra wins, and we’ll be 2nd seed playing 3rd seed Boston in the 2nd round. LOL!

Dan

January 15th, 2010
10:14 am

The Hawks, if they stay healthy, will win more than 52 games.

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
10:17 am

Great thing about our team is our youth. We’ve got 3-5 years of very productive basketball with all of our key guys. Bibby & Joe Smith are the only one’s who will be moving on to retirement.

With that said our future championship potential will be in developing a big & a point guard with virtually no ability to draft or sign a big money free agent. Right now we have Teague and Randmo as our future.

I think we can get your two wins JerryWest.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
10:18 am

I agree with dan, and yeah Josh Smith is a top athlete in the league…too bad Woodson cant utilize it right by drawing up plays for him that involve him cutting to the hoop for a quick pass for the alley, lay up or any shot right at the rim….instead of letting him play to his weakness…tryin to beat guys off the dribble and taking jump shots.

but Wooow the guy that hit the game winner for the Jazz against the Cavs was former UGA point guard Sundiata Gaines….didnt know he was in the league..

GeeMack

January 15th, 2010
10:19 am

Great stuff Ken. The article from Lang was very good. My thoughts are: 52 wins sounds good, but if you can finish with 60 like Cle why not go for it.

Keep in mind if we make a few shots against Cle in ATL, and play defense down the stretch in Cle we are one game behind Cle in the standings.

The Hawks have the oppurtunity to win the most games in franshise history with better defense.

Fresh

January 15th, 2010
10:33 am

Mac-Town’z Finest 478,

Just last week Sundiata Gaines was in the D-League with Mario West. Good to see both of those guys come right in and make good contributions on winning teams. They might just open the doors for other guys trying to get to the league.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
10:35 am

Wizards trying to move Blatche and Jamison???? Hawks could use either one (or both) of them

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
10:35 am

Amen GeeMack on the D! A few more stops and boards and we’d easily win 60.

Imagine Josh if he could be the recipient of Nash’s playmaking abilities! We don’t use plays for anyone. Most is based on 1:1 play where you have to beat 1-2 defenders to score. No real catch & shoot or dunk opportunities. All basic isolation plays.

Ernest

January 15th, 2010
10:36 am

My ‘gut’ says they can win at least 55 games, assuming no major injuries. I say this because I believe additional chemistry will be formed along with Mario providing a ‘defensive spark’ from time to time, when needed.

This team has a GREAT foundation in place for the future. We need to take care of the contract with Joe sooner rather than later.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
10:37 am

Hope so@Fresh….I’m pretty sure alot of those guys could come in and do better than some of these NBA “role players”

Sundiata Gaines was all everything at UGA….100% hustle and I even believe he lead Georgia in rebounding at the PG position….

GeeMack

January 15th, 2010
10:39 am

Mac-Town’z Finest 478

Woody has the Hawks is a great position with less talent than all the elite teams in the east and west, yet we still find ways to take shots at the man. Wow!

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
10:44 am

I take shots at Woodson because he has plenty of talent. He just doesn’t use it all. Why not play matchups and use your strengths every night? Instead we go with 6.5 men 90% of the time. This trend will leave us injured, run down and out of the playoffs. Use the pieces and you’re on your way!

WOW!

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
10:47 am

Before anyone lashes out – out of the playoffs means 2nd round early exit like last year. We easily have the potential on our roster to win the ECF if we use our strengths and play our game with Woodson at the helm.

Mike is Back

January 15th, 2010
10:56 am

The Hawks are such a tough opponent at Phillips…I expect them to be up for this challenge against Phoenix…I’m hoping Teague get a chance to guard Nash some…he can learn a lot trying to defend a savvy guy like Nash. Nash usually gives us fits. They are coming off a lost…so they will be ready to play…should be a great game.

Thanks to RAY ALLEN for offering up support for Teague…he is a class act. I have always had tremendous respect for the way he carry himself. He is great role model for the young guys. Teague will be better for it.

Mike is Back

January 15th, 2010
10:57 am

Ooooooooop, this is the first line of that blog.
52 wins is reasonable…but I will say 54 – 28 and we take the third seed.

Westurd

January 15th, 2010
10:58 am

We are all losing sight here…….the numbers of wins means absolutely nothing. We just have to finish in a posistion to either face Boston or Cleveland in the second round. Orlando will continue to slaughter us.

SEE YOU IN THE FACTORY TONIGHT!! GO HAWKS

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
10:59 am

We should be in first tonight…..We should win and there’s a good chance the the Magic will lose @ Portland.

Now that would be great to see the Hawks pick up a win over a good team and then watch the Magic get beat …all on national television.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
11:03 am

The previous couple of times we lost to the Magic….wasnt it basically because of the Hawks own lack of energy/effort….and the Magic being extremely hot from the field??? Those are things that shouldnt last or play out for an entire series.

doc

January 15th, 2010
11:06 am

nice comments about josh but for years those that have watched him and admired him can only say, well yeeaaah, no sh!t sherlock.

richbrave

January 15th, 2010
11:11 am

Mac-Town’z Finest 478

January 15th, 2010
10:35 am
Wizards trying to move Blatche and Jamison???? Hawks could use either one (or both) of them

Easy M-TOWN. There will be a lot of rumors floating around up until Feb. trade dead-line. I have no doubt however, that a lot of this team is on the way out of town. These two may be part of that move. I know BLATCHE wants out.

I MUS WRITE

January 15th, 2010
11:24 am

I say we end up 55-27….

I MUS WRITE

January 15th, 2010
11:30 am

Richbrave -we dont want Blatche -he would be bad for chemistry. if he cant get shots on a dismal wizards team where will he gets shots here. Jus say’n smoove and horford are better players IMO and they dont get many touches.

How about McGee is he on the blocks as well- Mcgee is the only player i want off that team -Jamison would be nice if his contract was’nt so much.
-Y is this awful song stuck in my head “lookn like a fool with your pants on the ground”

GeeMack

January 15th, 2010
11:31 am

Fundamentals

You are correct. We have talent, but the teams ahead of us in the standing have just as much talent with experience. That’s why I think Woodys eforts should be applauded.

Bos, Cle, Orl, LA, SA, Dal, & Den. all suffer some of the same lapses in play as the Hawks. No ball movement, lack of effort, defensive lapses, & too much 1-on-1 play. All good teams have those struggles.

I MUS WRITE

January 15th, 2010
11:36 am

Bad Things man….. If we had Stevie Nash running with our grey hounds -Bad things man. Nash is my favorite pg to watch, not that he’s the best but he is top 5. That man just plays like he’s at the park atleast twice a game im like ” my gawd did you see that”

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
11:41 am

I can see the point GeeMack, but I wish they’d at least change things up a bit when we’re seeing a lapse or lack of effort. Woodson just plods ahead with his usual rotations.

That’s why I liked adding Mario. Folks don’t like his talent or his skill on this blog, but he sparks our team. He demands effort and 9 times out of 10 gets us going.

I think Teague could change the tempo at times, but we don’t really try it. I’d like to see him get more chances to make a difference when we’re struggling. Most nights it’s easy to tell when and if Bibby has it going. He should be a mature enough leader to sit himself, but I’m sure I’ll get crap for that one. I’m not looking for Teague to score, but mainly to run the offense and speed us up a bit. Guess that all depends on Josh & Al’s effort. Hopefully Marvin can continue to be an option. Marvin is really helping our offense by becoming involved. It spreads the D and opens up the floor for everyone.

I think Boston will succumb to injuries, the Shaq virus will disrupt chemistry in CLE, VC will hurt ORL and our good chemistry will barely put us atop if we too stay injury free. I really think we have a shot. We just need to get over the ORL & CLE hump one time before the playoffs. We’ve got two more chances with each. One win will change our mindset and confidence levels. Really just two close games would do it as well.

As for the west, LA has the injury issues as well as SA. I can’t ever get up for Dallas. I like Denver, but it’ll depend on Nene & Billups staying healthy. It may just be Melo’s year! I’m guessing Melo, Billups or Kobe for finals MVP

Astro Joe

January 15th, 2010
11:45 am

Rick Sund interview alert I just heard that he will be on sometime between 12-12:30 EST on 790-AM or http://www.790thezone.com for an in-studio discussion.

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
11:46 am

Loved the footage of Nash getting stitched up the other night. How many other players would’ve come back to play that hard? Almost no one! Great PG, great floor leader. Should be a great test for our backcourt defense tonight.

I MUS WRITE

January 15th, 2010
12:02 pm

From the last blog:

JeJe -Get your mind right,at 35 years old stackhouse is a gunner and we have plenty of fire power. We need defense which is why Rio was brought back. Stack would be an okay pickup but how many minutes is he gonna play and where- Sg Sf- I like Joe/Crawford and marvin/Evans over anyrotation involving Stack..

Terrell- Hilton Armstrong is a wack sandwich-Randolph has a better all around game than that guy-no thanx.

Boone??? No thanx -again where/when will he play-ZaZa is our backup C and he is alot better than both of those stiffs.

Ken -I feel you man, I spent 124 days over there roaming around the capitol city. I saw thing over there that i will never forget. Funny place – After spending most of my time in the savage cut throat areas, i got a chance to spend 3 days at Club Med -I jus kept thinking that its hunger and poverty 3 miles to the east but im here sippn Mai Tais with rich foreigners. its a true case of the haves vs the have nots.

U would be suprised what a pair of tommy hilfiger shorts and a Black tail magazine will get u over there.

GeeMack

January 15th, 2010
12:07 pm

Fundamentals

Kobe is the only palyer that would have came back like Nash. Nash is one tough PG. He reminds me so much of Stockton.

I agree the Hawks must find a way to get Teague more minutes. Especilly when the offense sputters. I remember Spud would come in and no matter who got back on defense they cat went 100 mph down the court to speed up the game.

We need one of out PG to have that mentality.

Astro Joe

Thanks for the info.

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
12:10 pm

Sund is coming up next on 790!

rms

January 15th, 2010
12:10 pm

hey, my last comment got sucked into outer cyperspace!!

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
12:11 pm

Sund is supposedly up after the commercial break.

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
12:14 pm

Folks bashed me earlier claiming Spud was a gimmick. That gimmick won us alot of games by sparking our team and changing the game. Teague has the same ability and more talent. That’s saying alot since I almost idolized Spud as a kid. Loved his heart, character and work ethic. He’s still a great standup guy today.

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
12:24 pm

No mention of trades by Sund, just discussion of keeping and developing our young pieces & then taking that next step in the playoffs.

O'Brien

January 15th, 2010
12:48 pm

Ken,

I dont know how many wins it would take, but I would love to see the Hawks win the division (which puts them as the #2 or #3 seed). That way, we would play Boston (instead of Cavs or Magic) in the second round.

As far as win total, I am good with 52 wins. However, what I want to see is how we perform in the playoffs (especially the second round). Whether we win 52 or 60, we need to be competitive in the second round series, and win at least a couple games.

BobStevens

January 15th, 2010
12:58 pm

Im cool with 52 wins as long as the Hawks win the NBA championship. Hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy is all that matters. Anything short of that is a wasted season. Period.

darrell starks

January 15th, 2010
1:13 pm

Go get biedrins now and we will contend for a title dont waste time sund.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

OFFER GOLDENSTATE OUR FIRST FOR BIEDRINS.
GO HAWKS!!!!!

ricknole

January 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

52 wins would be nice, but I want to see this team advance past the 2nd round. ECF would be the logical next step. We gotta sign Joe in the offseason, maybe Chills comes back???? A bench with Chills and Jamal would be a great duo.(wishful thinking I know) and then a serious contender for Championship.

darrell starks

January 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

STARTER BIBBY, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, BIEDRINS
BENCH JAMAL, MOE, MARVIN, JOE SMITH, ZAZA.
RESERVE TEAGUE, MORRIS
SUIT DRESS MARIO WEST
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

cp

January 15th, 2010
1:26 pm

I’m sorry I Mus but Pachulia has been terrible this year. I don’t know whats going on with him but his numbers are even lower than last year. Come playoff time another big like Boone would be useful coming off the bench but then again when games are tight Woodrow shortens up his bench…. Mario defense has become so overrated on here that its crazy. He plays hard but what else? Someone posted a stat last year that showed for the minutes he played last year he was like the second least productive player with a certain amount of minutes. But people love his energy and hustle even tho most times it amounts to no production.

theZaZaguy

January 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

Zaza and Marvin have contractitis. Josh Smith had it last year. Sign a multi-year contract for good money, and they slack for a few months. Not to mention, I think Zaza is probably distracted with his new restaurant. Don’t worry though, I bet they both come in strong during the playoffs.

Josh

January 15th, 2010
1:56 pm

I predict they’ll go 48-34. I understand this means they’ll go 23-21 the rest of the way, but I think guys will get tired, resulting in a losing record between now and shortly after the All-Star break.

They’ll follow it up with a strong run to the finish.

E.J. (aka HOMEGROWN)

January 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

I heard today on the radio how Joe was talking about the home court advantage and how Atlanta doesn’t have one. They said he mentioned it in a Chicago newspapper last week. They said that chicago wants Joe real bad, and from the comments and their tone, they think he will not be back.
Do ya’ll think that we can resign Joe???? If not what do we do to replace him?

JeJe

January 15th, 2010
2:38 pm

FIRE MIKE WOODSON

DONE IN 4 IN SECOND ROUND TO CLEVELAND

I MUS WRITE

January 15th, 2010
2:55 pm

Cp- I tend to agree with you but compared to Hilton Armstrong and Boone,Im rolling with ZaZa- He is okay at the back up spot and what he lacks in athleticism he makes up for with his hustle and a pretty good mid range jumper.

Darrell Starks – we’ve already robbed the Warrios once this season no way they jus hand over Beidrins-we would have to give up something of value and really is Beidrins that much better than ZAZA- I would say he’s better but not 9 million dollars better.

EJ- for some reason i jus dont think JJ is gonna be here next year, which is why I keep say’n go hard after Wade in the offseason-That would improve the team and he’s younger and not to mention a better player.
Joe is capable of taking over games on occasion but really he just wants to play the role of Robin and jack up shots…

Alright Dam It -Okay i’ll take the Tennessee Job since nobody else wants it….Bad times in rockytop, When the head coach at duke turns u down thats a bad sign…..

Kiffin….boi i tell u the truth,maybe Al Davis is’nt crazy after all.

Marcus

January 15th, 2010
3:15 pm

I would take 52 wins in a heartbeat ….. we have to avoid the swoons, and not just the 4-game sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide .but putting whoppin’ on the teams offering up their hindparts to GET whooped:

We should not lose to NJN, DET, NYK or CHA for the rest of the year. and if we have our foot on the throat of a team, don’t let them climb back into the game (ahem, CLE -Game 2 and ORL on Thanksgiving)

Fundamentals

January 15th, 2010
3:25 pm

Darrell’s be harping to rape the warriors for months. I don’t see his guy fitting in and playing the defense we need. Boone I might consider, but not at the sacrifice of one of our pieces. Prior to playoffs I might consider shedding Evans, Mario or Collins for something useful, but it’d take a real blockbuster to make it worth breaking up our team before the offseason.

Not sure Wade is our best fit. Joe hasn’t signed elsewhere, but I’d rather have a guy with an attitude like Roy or Gay than Wade. That’s just me though.

HeadUpMyAnusDawg

January 15th, 2010
3:51 pm

uhh, uhh, i can’t breathe, huhc h uchh

northcyde

January 15th, 2010
3:54 pm

54 wins was the max I thought this team could do. Depending on how they navigate through the rest of this month, it looks like they could reach as high as 56 wins.

But 52 would be a 5 game improvement from last year. I wouldn’t be disappointed with that at all.