What to say about the 2011 Atlanta Hawks. Pretty much the same thing as the past few years. As I was asked by the lovely lady in my life if they were still in the playoffs, i responded with a resounding no. So hopeful at the beginning of the postseason like many hawks fans with the performance in the opening series with Orlando and the opening weekend in Chicago. But all is the same as they disappoint once again. My GF even made the statement "at least they made it this far!!!" Huh, is this why we fired Mike Woodson and resigned Joe Johnson....just to make it to the conference semis....Can't blame Joe for taking the money, heck if they were backing up dump trucks of cash to my house i would take it too...I think that this management group has just gotten it all wrong from the beginning, and that includes free agency and the draft those topics have beaten into the ground enough and on this blog we like to think we are more forward thinking than that. So we will focus on what this season has shown us for the future.
Future, BTW, hasn't that been what this team has been looking to for so long. I've been waiting for Josh Smith to get it. I've been waiting for Joe Johnson to want it. And as a team we've all been waiting on them to show that they have it. In my modest opinion i think its time to shake a few things up and see if we can catch a little lightning in a bottle for next year. What we have learned from this postseason is that Jeff Teauge can play. Gone may be the times where every hawks fan dreads the names of Shelden or Marvin Williams(unrelated but in my book equally unsuccessful where they were both drafted). With the explosiveness and agility Teague showed against the leagues MVP the only real question is how good could this team have been if he had been given more time earlier on in his career. Both the Woodson and the Drew administration seemed to believe he wasn't ready to play, but after Hinrich got hurt, i think he showed us otherwise. Next is Al Horford, the heart of this team. Much of the issue from the national analysts with this team stemmed from the lack of movement with the offense. With Teague in the lineup I believe he opened up a lot of that with high pick and rolls with Horford. It will cause the defense to help and recover, allowing Horford to take open jump shots and when recovered an opportunity for the offense to find open shooters with defense being forced to move from side to side. The final piece of the corps group is Joe Johnson. As much as i bang on him for his "laisez-faire" attitude, the kid can flat out score. When you need a basket he is who we turn to and with good right. He causes such a match up problem for most teams hes who needs to have the ball when it counts. It just seems as if he doesn't want it and that causes a problem for this team who is in a desperate need for a go to scorer. All this being said, I believe these are the three in the lineup that have to stay. Like many Hawks fans, I'm over Josh Smith's potential. Too many times has he shot up 25 foot jumpers with 16 seconds on the shot clock. At some point you have to realize he may just be better off in another city. His talent is undeniable and he may be a useful chip(potentially the only one we have) to bargain over the off season attempting to pull in a legit big man to help Horford in the middle.
In the end these little adjustments may do little to recover a different result in the future for this team. When you look at it, the Bulls and the Heat are better. And short the addition of say Dwight Howard theres not much this team could do to compete talent wise with those teams. It just gets old seeing the same old script producing the same old results. Cmon Sund, put your mark on this team.