2007/2008 Season Preview - Atlanta Hawks

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by mikhail1973, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Season 2006/2007

    Record 30-52

    The team fought injuries and a weak offensive game throughout the season. As a result the team finished 26th in assists, 28th in field goal percentage, dead last in 3-point shooting percentage. There were a couple of disappointing performances by the players. Speedy Claxton had the worst season of his career and Shelden Williams couldn’t find his game. The team ended the season last in their division.

    Offseason

    Draft

    Team that was overloaded with swingmen needed to strengthen Center and Point Guard positions in the worst way possible.

    Al Horford
    With their first pick Hawks selected a strong PF/C from Florida. Big, with solid half-hook shot, Horford came from the Florida team that played a game based on two principles – defense and team basketball (4 players averaged 10-13 points per game). Players from those teams usually take one of the two routes with their new teams. Some get more playing time, more opportunities and their careers take off. The others get lost in the shuffle. By the looks of it Horford should go up.

    Verdict: poor man’s Dwight Howard

    Acie Law
    This playmaker created a name playing for Texas. In 4 years he spent there he managed to improve his shot, and stood out with his team thinking and floor vision. For a rookie he is dependable and very stable, and most of the time very solid defensively. Could he become a Hawks starting PG his first year? Possibly, but most likely not. However, it looks like that in a year or two the Hawks will have a full-fledged point guard whose name won’t be Ty Lue.

    Verdict: solid pick at the 11th spot

    Key Trades

    Esteban Batista’s example will give a clear understanding of why Atlanta has been a bottom-feeder since 1999 and haven’t won even half of its games in any season during this time. South American forward was a bench warmer for the team (13 games 1.5 points per game) and hadn’t had many chances to crack the rotation. However, as soon as he showed his game playing for the national team, many NBA teams jumped at the opportunity to sign him. In the end he signed with Boston. During these moments all you can do is to think back to Boris Diaw, a player whom the team didn’t see as a viable option. It is really difficult not to notice a guy who being 6’8” tall has better ball handling and decision-making skills than half of the NBA’s point guards.

    Offseason grade: B

    Season 2007/2008

    Atlanta has two offensive aces – Josh Smith and Joe Johnson. Smith is a slasher who won’t shy contact when things matter the most, and relies on his physical strength around the basket. Johnson relies more on his jump shot.

    Contact basketball is prevalent among the Hawks youngsters. Extra efforts quite often turns into additional fouls on defense and turnovers on offense for Mike Woodson’s team. However, this is the style and the character of this team. As long as the likes of Gasol and Stojakovic are in the league, the difference in skills can be successfully minimized by playing aggressively throughout the game.

    What does Atlanta lack? An intelligent leader. A point guard on the offense. They are decent defending one-on-one but lack team defense. And, with all the youngsters, they need experience.

    Under the rim the Hawks have Zaza Pachulia who averages 12 rebounds per 48 minutes. He is playing a much bigger role for the Atlanta team after not getting regular playing time in Milwaukee. He needs to be more effective offensively and more careful defensively and he could move up on the list of the NBA centers to the “above average” level.

    Team’s management has said many nice things about Joe Johnson. But the question remains – can he make the team competitive and can Atlanta be molded into a TEAM with Joe on board. Individually, his career as a player could be peaking or close to it. Now he needs to get the others involved more, and take over the games in the 4th quarter. He needs to become the team leader.

    Note of importance

    Josh Smith is one of the noticeable players in the NBA. He has really long arms and well-developed defensive instinct along the lines of Kirilenko and Artest. His thunderous dunks can get the fans on their feet. On the weak side, he only shoots 43% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc. He also turns the ball over quite often. His relationship with Woodson could use improvement as well. During the summer time he worked on improving his post up and back to the basket game. He had a great teacher – Hakeem Olajuwon. How it will play out during the season remains to be seen.

    Bottom Line

    35-40 wins is probably the ceiling for this team.

    Playoffs – no
    Championship - no
     
  2. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Mikhail, did you do all of this analysis yourself? If so, that's very impressive and thorough. :thumb:
     
  3. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    I've been reading a lot. Noway I could follow all the college and basketball games throughout the year to be able to assertain many things. I have a pretty good idea about the Pistons, but the rest of the teams I don't know as well. So, in some things I have to rely on information from other sources to some extent.
     
  4. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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  5. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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  6. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    So, anybody disappointed we picked up Stuckey and missed out on Law?

    Great commentary Mik. You the man!!
     
  7. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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    You seen one Derek Fisher you seen them all.

    :hoops:
     
  8. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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    Ricky just mentioned during halftime 10/24, that he likes the Hawks as an up and coming team in the East.

    I think he has a very good point there.

    :hoops:
     
  9. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    I think Law will be solid.
     
  10. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    About time that Atlanta team made use of the draft picks.
     
  11. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    They are entirely built through the draft...any guy they sign to boost them ends up sucking.
     
  12. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Hawks' West living a dream | ajc.com

    Kind of a cool story about the Hawks' 15th man. He was a walk on in college and I guess he is kind of like an NBA walk-on now. He won the spot by showing relentless hustle at all times, whether in games or just practice.
     
  13. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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    I believe that his forte is defense.

    :hoops:
     
  14. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think we, as Pistons fans, can appreciate the Ben Wallace-like hunger this guy has.
     
  15. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Or the Dupree like hustle.
     

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