Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Peace Out Hawks
1st off a big hand to the 2008/2009 Atlanta Hawks for completely surprising me and becoming a totally respectable NBA team. They improved by 10 games, nabbed the 4th spot in the East, and then did something no Atlanta team has done in a while, win a playoff series and advance to the 2nd round. So Yay! Way to go Hawks.
But now for the reality check: Atlanta is pretty much at the peak for this current roster...and they're not guaranteed to keep their spot next season. The Bulls are coming up. The Heat will be better as Beasley gets better. The Celtics are old, but they will still be better than the Hawks next season. Obviously Orlando and Cleveland are going to be better. And then there's no doubt in my mind the Sixers could jump the Hawks as well as some young improving team like the Bobcats. Last season was crucial for the future of this franchise...but this one might make or break them.
First things first, the Hawks need to fire Mike Woodson. This team improved in spite of him, not because. Atlanta has no offense, they don't play solid defense on a consistent basis, Woodson doesn't make adjustments, and his players don't like him. Thanks for the memories but it's time for you to pack your bags and go. Atlanta is in the Eastern conference, they need a defensive minded headcoach. That's what the Cavs and Celtics are. The Magic play solid enough defense because of Dwight Howard. The Pistons were able to dominate in the East for years because of their D. If Atlanta ever wants to make it to the promised land they've got to become a team that shuts people down. Mike Woodson ain't the guy for that.
Secondly Atlanta needs to look at Josh Smith and realize that he's a talented young player with some upside who can be a fan favorite and a star and the best asset they've got and then trade his ass away for someone who can either shoot the lights out or rebound and play defense. I'd love for the Hawks to send him to Denver in exchange for Birdman and some cap space. Or for a guy who can come off the bench and light it up. J Smooth just isn't the player the Hawks need him to be. He's immature and selfish and not a leader and he whines too much and shoots to many fucking 3s and doesn't understand how to play power forward. And his teammates don't really like him. I really wish Josh Childress had stayed last season and Smith had left town. The Hawks need to get rid of him now while he's still got a lot of value on the market.
Third thing is that Atlanta needs a real point guard. Bibby was solid this year and I like the guy, but he's old and he's still a shoot first PG...and that's not what this team needs. We need a leader, a passer, and a lockdown defender at the point. I don't care who you get, if it's through the draft or free agency, but this has been the team's biggest need for years.
And finally the Hawks need to add another player who can help Joe Johnson out...or better yet a guy who can lead this team and Joe Johnson can help him out. It became painfully obvious in these playoffs that Joe just isn't a superstar who can lead his team far. He's a great #2 but he's just not a #1 franchise guy. Either Atlanta needs to add another solid #2 player that turns the Hawks into a two man team or they just need to go for broke and pay the best superstar available to come to town and make him the franchise. Either way Joe can.'t do it alone. Johnson, Williams, Horford, and Zaza are all nice pieces to build around but the Hawks are gonna need a major facelift if they want to make it to the next level.
don't take it personal guys. it's just strictly business.
Okay, enough Hawks talk for months. Seriously I've written more about this team over the last month than I have the previous 3 years. Back to football...