Hawks: Are they still only fourth best in NBA’s East?

Maybe you've heard: These two guys are now teammates in Cleveland.

Maybe you've heard: These two guys are now teammates in Cleveland.

In engineering one of the busiest and most successful summers in Hawks’ history, general manager Rick Sund strengthened the bench (Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith), drafted a talented guard (Jeff Teague) and retained the team’s top three free agents (Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia).

Only one problem: Atlanta might still be only the fourth best team in the Eastern Conference.

What are your expectations for the Hawks next season?

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This week’s signing of Smith concluded the Hawks’ significant moves this off-season. Here’s my question for you: What should the expectation be?

Everybody ahead of them in the East (Cleveland, Boston, Orlando) also got better. So did some teams behind them, though probably not enough to crack the top four. Should we expect coach Mike Woodson, who will be entering the final year of his contract, to win more than one playoff series next season?

Here’s a quick recap of the top four teams in the East, with last year’s record and playoff results in parenthesis).

CLEVELAND (66-16, lost to Orlando in conference finals): After being stunned by the Magic, they’ve surrounded LeBron James with significant help: Shaquille O’Neal, whose minutes presumably will be limited during the regular season so he’s stronger for the playoffs; forward Jamario Moon (from Miami) and forward Leon Powe (from Boston). They also re-signed Anderson Varajao.

BOSTON (62-20, lost to Orlando in conference semis): The good news for Hawks fans is the Celtics signed Shelden Williams. But they’ve added Rasheed Wallace and re-signed Glen “Big Baby” Davis to a team that still might have been the NBA’s best last season, if not for the late-season knee injury to Kevin Garnett.

ORLANDO (59-23, lost to Los Angeles in NBA finals): Atlanta’s Dwight Howard and the Magic were a blast to watch in the playoffs, particularly against the overhyped Cavaliers. Now they’ve added power forward Brandon Bass from Dallas, matched Dallas’s offer sheet to keep center Marcin Gortat and then there’s the big move – adding guard Vince Carter to play alongside Jameer Nelson. Carter hasn’t been a part of a lot of team success in his career so that will be interesting to watch. But if it works, it’ll be huge. Orlando also added a solid power forward off the bench, Ryan Anderson from New Jersey.

ATLANTA (47-35): In addition to adding Crawford, Smith and Teague, and keeping Bibby, Williams and Pachulia, the Hawks traded away Speedy Claxton and Acie Law. There might be some addition by subtraction there.

So do you see the Hawks cracking the top three? There’s also a poll to the left.

107 comments Add your comment

JSS

August 26th, 2009
11:12 am

Is there really a question here? Leave the Hawk Talk to Sekou and company… The proper reference to all of this is what were the Magic seeded going into last year’s playoffs? Answer 3rd. Boston’s run as as a number one seed in the East was rarity since the Pistons failed miserably as a one seed for a number of years… Just be ready to come and play winning hoops in May, Do solid work in regular season and learn how to win on the road… Time to do more sight seeing… Adieu!!!

rms

August 26th, 2009
11:14 am

Do I see the Hawks cracking the top three???? After hell thaws out, then maybe!!!

Skeet~O

August 26th, 2009
11:15 am

I think adding Crawford and Teague made them closer to #3, but still a solid #4. The C’s and Magic both stood pat in my mind – Vinsanity isn’t as good as Hedu but Bass and Nelson being healthy helps, while Sheed shores up the PF spot but he and KG are both getting old.

dap01

August 26th, 2009
11:18 am

Sund improved the Hawks. The Hawks can and will improve on last years total wins.

With the improved depth, we should be healthier in the playoffs. If we are healthier, and if our young guys continue to improve, the Hawks can play with ANYONE. And in a playoff series, they may shock even the mighty Cavs who certainly added a question mark for chemistry in adding Shaq. Orlando made a risky chemistry move in getting Carter. Boston added Rasheed (Yikes!).

DP

August 26th, 2009
11:20 am

If Teague is good enough to push Bibby to the bench by midseason the Hawks can move closer to the top 3 in the East. The first unit needs a point guard who can push the ball for easy fast break baskets (increasing Josh Smith’s effectiveness in particular) and break down the defense in the half court so the half court offense doesn’t become throw the ball to Joe Johnson and watch him pound it into the floor. When Bibby is in the game he effectively plays 2 guard and Johnson plays point. Plus Bibby isn’t quick enough to stay in front of opposing point guards on defense.

If Teague can become good enough to start then Bibby and Crawford can provide good offensive punch for the second unit.

If Teague is a flop or not ready to contribute much by the second half of this season (or Woodson buries him on the bench and doesn’t give him a chance) I don’t see the Hawks challenging the top 3 in the East.

JO

August 26th, 2009
11:22 am

No….but if they can get a little closer to the top three who know what can happen in the 2nd round of the playoffs. One thing for sure, Josh needs to start playing consistently, and the coach cant crush J Johnson with so many minutes as he did last season.

MannyT

August 26th, 2009
11:31 am

Another way to look at the question if you use last season’s records–where do the Hawks get a 13 game improvement (to match Orlando’s record?)

The improvement of this team is mostly based on the growth of the younger players. For all the talk of change, the personnel differences are Teague, Crawford, & Joe Smith for Law, Claxton, & a bench guy. Sure the personnel is better, but Woodson has to manage the minutes and game plan to make the difference show up in the record. We expect the sub 30 year old players to get better, but the older guys will probably get worse.

There is room to improve against Boston, Cleveland, & Orlando. However, there is more room to fall off against the 11 teams behind the Hawks. Holding the 4th seed would be a very good accomplishment.

C. Tampa Ironworse

August 26th, 2009
11:32 am

The big problem with the Hawks is simple. No BIG name guy…no BIG name player. Just like in
Football where you need a big three(QB, RB and some type of pass catcher), in the NBA…you need a SUPERstar, 2 stars and role players. The Hawks a a bunch of role players and stars like Joe Johnson…but that’s it. They maybe can stay #4…but they’re not seriously in the discussion until they get a BIG time player.

PS: Maybe if they all had bowties like me…they’d be awesome!!!

SWATlantadolfan

August 26th, 2009
11:35 am

Its possibly,but unlikely.I dont see us being a 3 seed as being the important question.We are still young,so I expect us to still lose some games we arent supposed to,but we will also win some we shouldnt.Young teams lack consistancy.Boston,Cleveland,and Orlando will be better than us in the regular season for that reason.The real question is can we upset one of those teams in the playoffs.To answer that question I’ll go Obama on ya’ll and say “Yes we can!”

Doug

August 26th, 2009
11:39 am

True to a degree but each with a caveat…and Orlando is arguably not as good as last year. Boston: Sheed helps but there is ALOT of mileage on all their key players as well as a rift between Rivers and Rondo. Will any/all of their stars break down over 82 games?
Cleveland: Shaq still a presence but will his presence diminish the brilliance of Lebron as it did Nash…by clogging the lane for his forays? Will his ball screen defense and FT woes prove fatal in the postseason??
Orlando: Does Vince Carter bring the same savy on using ball screens as Turkoglu? No. Does he create the same mismatches? No. Will Nelson return as a good fit with Carter now in tow??? Very questionable.

Michael

August 26th, 2009
11:43 am

I think Orlando is going to miss Turkoglu more than they realize, and Vince is going to wind up being a detriment to their club. Carter has always been a ball hog, and he’s not going to like that fact that Orlando is Howard’s team. So I think the Hawks will pass them.

Boston continues to do nothing but age, so I think they’ll slide back some as well, but probably not enough for the Hawks to catch and pass them in the regular season standings. But I think the Hawks can take them in the second round of the playoffs.

I also don’t think the addition of Shaq will have much positive impact on Cleveland (dude is old), but he’s not going to drag them down either. I figure they’ll wind up in roughly the same place they were last year, and wax Atlanta in the playoffs again this year, albeit in the Conference Finals this time.

Astro Joe

August 26th, 2009
11:44 am

Manny, agreed.

Stevengilley15

August 26th, 2009
11:52 am

Vince Carter>> Hedo Turkgolu in terms of NBA talent but Hedo can fit in many systems. Hawks improved to win 50 games but not advance in the playoffs past 2nd round. Maybe win 2 games tho.

Terrell

August 26th, 2009
12:00 pm

C. Tampa Ironworse,
If what you’re saying is true, which it’s not, the the Pistons wouldn’t had beaten the L.A. Lakers who had Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton. The Pistons were not superstars then.

Now at football, the Ravens and the Bucs won Superbowls because of their defense. Their QBs were average at best when they won the Super Bowl.

Dan

August 26th, 2009
12:06 pm

Nice, Hawk4life!

I think expectations should be 4th seed, again. I think Boston, however, is due to drop. Their core is getting older and ijuries are going to hit them sooner rather than later. Plus, Sheed is a shadow of his former self.

Boston is either falling this year, or next. Their run is almost done.

Ernest

August 26th, 2009
12:09 pm

I don’t see the Hawks cracking the top three during the 09-10 season however we will see improvement. Based on what happens next offseason, the Hawks should compete for the conference crown at a minimum during the 10-11 season. Locking up most of our core (we also need JJ to sign) allows greater chemistry to be developed over the year. That can have a greater impact than having a superstar(s) on the team (see reference to Detroit and the Lakers earlier in this blog).

Mac

August 26th, 2009
12:11 pm

The Hawks improved their bench and will get some small amount of continued growth from the Smiths and Horford. So, they will hopefully win 50 games and win a couple of games in a second round series. But, to make a big jump to the elite, they will have to somehow add a superstar, and/or make a big upgrade at head coach. Woody’s not awful, but he’s not Phil Jackson, or Red Auerbach either.

BPJ

August 26th, 2009
12:13 pm

There’s a reason they play the games – we don’t know who will win. The Hawks have a good shot at winning a series over any of those teams, the two key variables being injuries and teamwork. If the Hawks enter the playoffs with all hands healthy (which was not the case this year), and they play consistent team defense, they will be superb. The additions to the bench make both of those outcomes more likely because: (a)reducing the starters’ minutes over the course of the long season makes injuries less likely; and (b)playing consistent team defense is tiring, thus easier to do if you get to rest a bit more often (and the bench itself has capable defenders).

Dan

August 26th, 2009
12:21 pm

My prediction is that the Hawks will move up to no. 3 because one of the top three teams in the East will have a significant injury to one of their old guys. The Hawks– while they did suffer through some injuries last year–are young and less likely to have the same sort of situation.

But it’s doubtful the Hawks will move much further in the playoffs, because the offense will still be mostly “iso-Joe” and Joe will be, once again, worn out by the time the playoffs arrive. Sigh.

Jt

August 26th, 2009
12:25 pm

I think they can be better than the Celtics. Injuries increase with age and the Celtics are getting older. The Hawks have shown that when they do what is necessary to run (like grabbing defensive rebounds) they can run teams like Boston right out of the gym. Despite the poor showing in the playoffs against Cleveland (the Hawks were hurting at the time), they competed pretty well against the Cavs in the regular season. I’m not sure that Shaq makes them that much better. His skills are eroding and he is definitely a liability late in games. So, I think they can get into the 3rd position and then see what happens.

bigeasy830

August 26th, 2009
12:30 pm

The only way we will crack the top 3 is if Marvin and Al really mature over the off season and becom BEAST for the Hawks, Both guys need to average at least 15-20 per game and Al need to snatch 12 rebounds and Marvin would need to average 7 rebounds per game as well as Joe, Bibby and J-Smooth still doing their thing. But. i dobt if that happens so lets hope for 50 plus wins and another 4 seed. Joe Smith is simply not the answer.

BPJ

August 26th, 2009
12:32 pm

I have a question for you guys, most of whom clearly know the NBA better than I do: who are the teams with the better “2nd fives” around the league?

The Hawks starting 5, I submit, are among the best in the league. No “superstars”, but strong at each position. If they play well together as a team, they’re formidable. Last year the bench was Pachulia, Evans, & and Murray……and then look out. This season it’ll be Pachulia, Evans, Crawford, Teague, and Joe Smith. Granted we don’t know that much about Teague yet, that looks like a pretty good group. Whose 2nd five are better? (I’m sure there are some, I just don’t know the rosters well enough).

Barry

August 26th, 2009
12:36 pm

Hey Y’all:

I do naot see the Hawks looking for a big man to stand up against Shack,Howard, and the Celtics center. I hope all the other four player we have are greater than thos teams four players because I do not see us winning at the center spot. Hopefully, we will be doing things to offset the other teams big centers. I can only think great team defense. If that is what it is, I hope it works. If not, I hope some of the young bigs in camp become stars this year. That would be great!!
REAL GREAT!!!

LETS GO HAWKS!!!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SECRET from a HAWK FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

………………………”SHOCK THE WORLD!!!”…………………..

C. Tampa Ironworse

August 26th, 2009
12:42 pm

Terrell,
Yes…please pick out the “exception” to the rule with the Pistons. Malone/Payton were shells of what they once were at that time as well. And I don’t think people look to the Ravens/Trent Dilfer as the way to build a champion. So nice try…but your points are just kind of silly and not valid.

Gwinnett Fred

August 26th, 2009
12:46 pm

You’re making it much more difficult of a question than it really is.

There is only ONE TEAM in the way of cracking the top 3, not three. So to answer the question “Can they crack the top 3?” can be reduced to “Can they pass Orlando?” since Cleveland & Boston only come into play if you are asking can they crack the top 2?

Now that I’ve simplified the question that media types always like to try to over-hype – the answer is probably no – we haven’t made up 12 games on Orlando.

This does not mean we are not a more dangerous team once the playoffs come around, which is aldo the main question to ask!

Notty Dred

August 26th, 2009
12:48 pm

The Hawks can finish anywhere from 7th to 3rd. We have a solid team, but we still lack a true big man. The Hawks are going to have to run a little more to off set the front court size disadvantage they’ll face against teams with legit bigs. I will be following the Hawks this season at http://www.fanhuddle.com. I’ll keep it real and give you all the inside info with the Hawks (I got a lil pull). Also check me out Wednesday nights from 8p -10p and Saturdays from 12p -2p on “The Rant” at http://www.vvcradio.com. Vince Thomas from SLAM magazine and Aron Phillips from DIME magazine will be guests so we’ll talk a lot of NBA amongst other things. Also Check out the video blog I participate in with the Lovely Lady Simone at http://www.2livestews.com. Peace and blessings.

Mike T

August 26th, 2009
1:03 pm

Why does everyone think Hedo is better then Vince? Please enlighten me. Vince brings so much more to the Magic then Hedo does.

STRETCH

August 26th, 2009
1:06 pm

BPJ,
I love that 1st unit with the exception of Horford playing at the 5, thats still going to be a downfall. The second unit is probably one of the top 5 units in the NBA though.

Anthony

August 26th, 2009
1:06 pm

#4 I suppose, but they will play Washington or Toronto, in the 1st round which is probably gonna be a game 6 or 7, cause Arenas is healthy in Washington, Toronto made some decent additions this offseason, but the Hawks will win the series though

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
1:11 pm

Hey, this has to be one of your better articles. Its accurate,(for a change!) Just smiling. I agree and think your prognosis is true, Schultz.

As, ive said all year long. The Hawks need a center to get to the next level. You cant do it with four power forwards and ZaZa. Wont happen.

Thanks for accentuating that point.

Thanks for the good writing.

Jeff Schultz

August 26th, 2009
1:13 pm

Michael – I’ve always liked Turkoglu but it didn’t seem like Orlando cared about him leaving – thus, the trade.

JT – good point about the Celtics and age but I don’t see the Celtics dropping lower than third – as long as Garnett is healthy.

Bigeasy830 – Horford will continue to get better but Marvin staying healthy and becoming a consistent productive player is the kind of thing that would make a HUGE difference in the bottom line.

STRETCH

August 26th, 2009
1:18 pm

truth-serum, i do believe you said what most writers seem to be afraid to write! This team wont even smell the Eastern conference finals cause the they are still trying to paint a two-story house without a ladder.

Gotta have a legit big man. Zaza would be a great 2nd center but thats all. Horford will be in foul trouble all season…bet on it.

Hoops

August 26th, 2009
1:20 pm

There are a lot of uncontrolable things can happen over a 82 game schedule. That’s why depth is very important. The Hawks have much better depth than a year ago in the key positions in case of injuries.

The question should be, “can the Hawks overcome the Magic to get into the top 3 in the East?” I can see the Hawks finishing ahead of the Magic if they can stay healthy. I know that the Magic added Carter and Bass, but losing 3 playoff starters is going to be a major adjustment for them. They may have chemistry problems and remember that Lewis will miss the first 10 games. The Hawks need a good start. I know the Hawks early schedule is tough, but I can see this team beating Boston in the second round to get to the conference finals.

Woodson needs to use all 10 of his rotation players during the regular season and keep those guys fresh. Play #11-14 off the bench whenever we can. Fresh legs will get those Celtics in the end!

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
1:24 pm

STRETCH

August 26th, 2009
1:18 pm

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
1:27 pm

I must agree that the writers here seem to lack the backbone to talk about the 600 pound gorilla in the room. I like that analogy about the painting…I think ill lift that one. It would be nice to have a blog sight where we can deal with whats real.

Good post!

Andy

August 26th, 2009
1:33 pm

BPJ – I think Cleveland can boast a better second unit with guys like Jamario Moon, Anthony Carter etc…Boston has Marquis Daniels, Rasheed Wallace, Eddie House, Glen Davis in their second 5…much better…

For all of you who think Boston, Orlando or Cleveland are coming down to earth, you’re mistaken…Cleveland may be the strongest team we’ve seen in the East in a long long time. Boston improved and Orlando didn’t fall back at all (despite Hedu loss and Vince Carter gain)

Jeff Schultz

August 26th, 2009
1:36 pm

Truth – Thanks for their rare compliment.

Stretch – The center thing has been addressed in blogs and columns countless times. Everybody knows this team gets significantly better with a legit guy in the middle and Horford moving to PF. But (familiar refrain) the bottom line is that there are just not that many good centers in the league, and the ones who are around certainly aren’t available in trade.

Ken Strickland

August 26th, 2009
1:41 pm

MANNYT-very well put, and I co-sign on that. Of the 3 top Eastern teams, Boston is the only one that’s upgraded their roster without affecting their starting lineup. Like Jeff Shultz so astutely said, VCarter hasn’t significantly improved a roster he’s been a part of in his entire career, and I don’t think that will change. Three starters from last yrs NBA finals team are no longer on the roster and RLewis won’t be available to start the season.

PG JNelson actually hurt the team when he returned last yr. He now has to adjust to an entire starting lineup, except for DHoward. They’re going to have some serious adjustment and chemistry issues to start the season, and even when RLewis returns. I think Orlando just made the same mistake the Nuggers made when they thought AIverson would be an improvement. The Hawks can overtake them, especially if we get off to our usual strong start.

Shaq hasn’t improved anybody’s team since he helped Miami win the title. What can he do to improve a team that won 66 gms? He certainly can’t pull the opposing center away from the basket with his outside shooting like Ilgaukas. That will make it more difficult for Cleveland to attack the basket, like they’re known for doing. His DEF is slightly worse than Ilgaukas’. I can see adding him to their bench, but why run the risk of creating chemistry problems by adding him to the starting lineop that led the NBA is wins, especially when at his best he might provide only marginal improvement?

Dr. Warren

August 26th, 2009
1:41 pm

Let’s know our history. These are the Roundfield-John Drew-Tree Rollins, Dominique-Spud-Doc Rivers, Steve Smith-Mookie-Mutombo Hawks ALL OVER AGAIN. NONE of those teams reached the Eastern Conference Finals, and neither will this team. Whenever Atlanta finally gets good, it is just that: good. Not great, not dominant. In all this time, we’ve had the luck to land only one bonafide superstar, Dominique, and we came within a basket of making the ECF’s against Boston in ‘88, and that was it–the closest we’ll come, most likely, until fortune shines upon us in the lottery with a true prodigy–a future Hall of Famer–and we can add a complementary top 10 NBA player through free agency.

Tyger

August 26th, 2009
1:43 pm

Jamal Crawford’s impact is the only mystery here.

Will he be the unadulterated scorer the Hawks need?
Will he supplant Bibby, as Flip did, when the games on the line?
We he flourish aside/behind Big Pass Joe?
Will he form a dynamic duo w/Marvin on the Second Team?

Nite Owl

August 26th, 2009
1:52 pm

It’s nice to have a good bench, but the only realistic way we crack the top three is for our starters to step it up.

Horford and Josh have to show they are elite players, especially on the glass and on defense. Rodman and Barkley never used size as an excuse.

Marvin and Joe need to be consistent scorers (no slumps, Joe!), like Rip Hamilton/Tayshaun, or Pierce/Allen, or Rashard/Turkoglu (now Carter).

The top five faces aren’t changing, so we live and die by these guys being not only reliable, but consistently excellent, in scoring and rebounding.

That’s what it takes; now we’ll see if they’re interested in bringing it every game, with the intensity of a KG.

supa

August 26th, 2009
2:00 pm

I really like what the Hawks have done. They are a deeper team and have more offensive weapons. They also should have more defensive production by being fresher and playing at the right positions. I think Orlando is overrated and Vince Carter will hurt more than help. Probably 3rd best in the East but closing on Boston and Cleveland. I think they’re also younger and more athletic than those two teams. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

JMar

August 26th, 2009
2:03 pm

Let’s see. Three teams already miles ahead of the Hawks going into the offseason. One adds Shaq, one adds Vince, one adds Sheed. The Hawks keep the same team. Not only did the top 3 stay the top 3, they increased their advantage over the Hawks exponentially. Not to mention that none of those teams (or any team in the NBA except for the Hawks, I’d guess) have room for Rio on their bench.

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
2:07 pm

Schultz, Im with Stretch on this one. We could have went after lopez of new jersey who destroyed us and horford head to head, Hes a legit 7 footer, he can score in the low post, hes got good numbers defensively and hes tenacious. We could have trade up and got the UCONN center and worked to bring him into the rotation and start him next year. There are options, we did not look very hard.

Some one else may have a better move than im offering. My point is that we did nothing when anything would have be an improvement. We had flip and did not necessarily need crawford. We need then and still need a center. Good GM’s find whats needed. San Antionio was smart enough to resigh mutombo last year before he got injured down the stretch. Miami went after Jermaine Oneal, we did …..nothing. Our weakness at the 5 spots is such that we need to be as aggressive in finding a center as we are in pursing Crawford.

That no center mentality is a very weak copout and wont win games!

Doug

August 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

JMAR: Hawks stay the same???? They added a 20 ppg scorer who is exponentially better than Flip….drafted a “potential” stud in Teague who gives them a legit speed guy with 2nd unit…added a solid vet PF in Joe Smith instead of Solo Jones…and they stayed the same???

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

Nite Owl

August 26th, 2009
1:52 pm

Barkley never won anything but a DUI and Rodman was a very good powerforward who couldnt score but could rebound well. Kind of reminds me of Horford except Rodman was better. The point is we have enough power forwards. Lets get a center.

truth-serum

August 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

Smith is an improvement over Solo (can you say cba).Crawfords not much if any improvement over flip. You dont win games on potential but on performance. My assessment says the hawks are marginally better.

Terrell

August 26th, 2009
2:15 pm

C. Tampa Ironworse,

No, my points are very valid. Your statement makes it seem like that these superstars come from out of nowhere. When the Bulls began their domination, Jordan was the only star. Other players began to develop and play well with him and then they earned their respected status. A star is a person who can still produce when they are in the spotlight. When Jordan left the Bulls, Scottie Pippen wasn’t the same so you can’t call him a super star, Steve Kerr was a role player, as well as Toni K., Luc Longely. The Bulls were good because of team chemistry. The Cs won two seasons ago because the “super stars” you refer to was not in existence. They played as an unit. We looked at them as super stars but their stats said otherwise.

Since you don’t know anything about football let me help you out there as well. If you have a great defense, all you need is a QB who can manage the game for you and you will win. There aren’t too many teams that had a high powered offense (2000 Raiders vs 2000 Yucs) and a subpar or average defense that win the Super Bowl. If you need a recent example look at the Cardinals and Steelers. Big Ben is a good QB, but without that Defense the Steelers don’t even make it to playoffs much less win the Super Bowl. Yes Ben had the game winning TD pass but this doesn’t happen if the defense doesn’t play well all season.

ToeKnee

August 26th, 2009
2:19 pm

THE SIMPLE FACT IS THAT THE GAP BETWEEN THE HAWKS AND THE TOP OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE IS AS SMALL AS ITS BEEN IN OVER A DECADE. WE HAVE THE TALENT TO COMPETE WITH ANYBODY. AND THATS EXCITING!

Nite Owl

August 26th, 2009
2:32 pm

@ truth-serum:

So you wouldn’t take Barkley or Rodman if you had the chance? Okay.

Only reason I brought those guys up is that they played at an All-Star level (and in Barkley’s case, HOF level) despite their size. We should expect the same from Smoove and Son of Tito.

And for good or ill, the team has committed to a front line of Marvin, Josh, and Al. They are now locked in for years, so the only way we win is by those guys getting better.

In other words, we’ve got a center and his name is Al Horford, like it or not.

Now that’s some truth! LOL.