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Old 09-09-2006, 02:33 PM   #1
2minutedrill32
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Default Atlanta Hawks Team Preview

I will be doing a team preview for every team in the league alphabetically...here goes...

Atlanta Hawks Team Preview

’05-06 record: 26-56

Point guard: The Hawks probably overpaid to get Speedy Claxton, but he was the best fit on the market. Maybe the best thing he does is allow Joe Johnson to move back to his more natural position of two-guard. Claxton is quick and has above average athleticism, allowing him to be a capable defender. He’s not a great distributor, but he’s decent and because Johnson gives them an above-average passer at the 2, that makes it a better fit.

Tyronn Lue is the backup which suits him much more than the starting role he has sometimes been forced into. He can be a pesky defender although he doesn’t get many steals. He is a average shooter and distributor although he did improve his three-point shooting last year to 45% on around 3 attempts per game.

Off-guard: Joe Johnson spent a good chunk of his summer participating with Team USA. He didn’t get a ton of minutes so it shouldn’t have that much of an impact on him as far as wear and tear physically during the season. He is one of the more versatile players in the league at 6’8”, and moving back to his more-natural position should help him be more aggressive in looking for his own offense and also allow him to expend more energy on defense. At the off-guard position in Phoenix he was one of the premier outside shooters in the league. He is an excellent passer, can play the point, and defend the three perimeter positions effectively. He is very durable, having not missed a game since his rookie year. Had four games of 40 or more points last year.

Salim Stoudamire is an instant-offense type guard off the bench in a similar mold to Eddie House and Bobby Jackson. He should be one of the better three-point shooters in the league and is a 90% free-throw shooter. He won’t help you in many other departments but he can score plenty with 32 double-figure games out of 61 games played off the bench as a rookie last season, including a 30-point outburst.

Royal Ivey can play spot minutes at both guard spots but is mostly a defensive substitution and does nothing else particularly well.

Small forward: Josh Smith has the athleticism and size to become one of the premier wing-forwards in the league. He has shown a penchant for making plays on the defensive end at an unprecedented rate. At only 20-years old he recorded over 200 blocks last season in 73 games which is an impressive feat for a center, let alone a wing player. He also started displaying an outside game late in the season, connecting on 33 treys in the last 27 contests. If he continues to improve his perimeter game and ball-handling skills allowing him to be a more consistent threat, he has the ability to become a franchise-type talent because of his playmaking ability on the defensive end.

Josh Childress is a unique player. He has guard skills at 6’8” and is a very efficient scorer with the length and quickness to be an above-average defender, but he has yet to really break out at all. He average double-figure points in 30-minutes per game in his second season on the strength of 55% shooting from the field and a shocking 49% from downtown although he only took about 1 three per game. He seems to be a more efficient version of Jared Jeffries right now. Could be a candidate for 6th Man this year if he continues to improve as he should. Will also see minutes at the off-guard most likely.

Power forward: No one was happier than Marvin Williams to see Al Harrington finally get shipped off to the Pacers. It has opened the door for him to step into the starting role and start fulfilling his immense promise. Williams has a ton of offensive capability with his combination of quickness and solid ball-handling. He has a lot of work to do defensively but this team actually has plenty of players who are capable of being above-average defenders so they can mask that a little bit. Expect Williams to put up solid numbers in his second campaign with a bust-out game sprinkled in here and there, setting up a breakout third-season.

Many peopled questioned Atlanta’s decision to draft Shelden Williams with the 5th overall pick of the most recent draft. Most felt it was just too high for a player many feel has a decent future but already being pretty close to his ceiling. Atlanta simply didn’t want a big man project and didn’t want to take a risk that high on a point guard which was there glaring hole. They went the “safe” route choosing the Duke senior. Duke players have fared decently in the league as of late, overcoming the bust lable that seemed prevalent for a while. Williams gives the Hawks someone who can play immediately and give them solid rebounding and defense. He doesn’t need shots as he can get his share from offensive rebounding and dunks around the hoop. He seems to be the perfect complement to Marvin off the bench, and may even see some minutes at center when the Hawks decide to put out a smaller lineup.

Center: At only 22, Zaza Pachulia is probably ahead of most other Euros at this age as far as his contributions at the NBA level. He is a pretty good rebounder and a decent scorer. He very well could be a 15-10 guy very soon if he continues to progress and get minutes. He will most likely never be much of a shot blocker but his steals numbers are very respectable with 89 last season. Needs to improve his FG% and his defense but that’s almost always the case at his age.

Lorenzen Wright was a pretty good signing for this team. They get a veteran guy who can defend the post effectively and can help Pachulia in that area. When given starter’s minutes he’s always going to give you a double-double effort. Will prove to be a very good backup or solid starter.

Solomon Jones is a superb athlete who was one of the best shot-blockers in college last year with 3.4 per game along with 9.8 rebounds per in the Big East. He most likely won’t get many minutes unless it’s necessary due to injuries. He gives them a project that they can send down to the D-League if they choose to. May see minutes at power forward as well.

Outlook: The success of their season rests on their ability to come together as a team on the defensive end. They have added the pieces that will allow them to be solid in that area if they focus. The progression and work ethic of the young players is obviously a huge component as well. Marvin Williams looked absolutely fantastic in the summer league and will be hoping to show everyone is wasn’t a colossal mistake to draft him over Chris Paul. Their offense should be fine with capable players at every position and off the bench in Stoudamire, Childress, and Pachulia if they decide to start Wright to add more defense to the starting unit. Claxton, Johnson, Smith, and Shelden Williams give them defensive playmakers. The East at the bottom is a tossup and the Hawks will open the season with hopes of contending for one of the final playoff spots. I see them improving on last year if they don’t suffer any major injuries and really being a threat the following year in ’07-’08. If their defense plays to its full capability they could steal the 8th spot but that’s a reach.

Projected Record: 33-49
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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Probably the best review of the Hawks that I have ever read on the internet. I enjoyed it very much..good job.
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Old 09-09-2006, 03:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Power forward: No one was happier than Marvin Williams to see Al Harrington finally get shipped off to the Pacers. It has opened the door for him to step into the starting role and start fulfilling his immense promise.

I've never understood this. Why does everybody think Marvin Williams is gonna be a power forward? He has the size of a small forward. He has the game of a small forward. He IS a small forward. Josh Smith is more of a power forward than Marvin.
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Old 09-09-2006, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo Tubbs
I've never understood this. Why does everybody think Marvin Williams is gonna be a power forward? He has the size of a small forward. He has the game of a small forward. He IS a small forward. Josh Smith is more of a power forward than Marvin.

I think that they are both seen as interchangible parts. I think that Marvin is seen by the coaching staff as more of a PF than Josh because he has a more developed back to the basket game at this point. But I guarantee that in any event Josh will be guarding the PF position, and giving help defense to the C position.

I see Marvin developing into a Lebron James type of player. They have the same build and athleticism. Marvin just needs to develop Lebron's confidence and swagger.
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Old 09-09-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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what about anthony grundy? is he not getting re-signed? i thought he played decently(though i only caught like 2 atl games last season).
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:53 PM   #6
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2minutedrill,

Great stuff
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidehoops
2minutedrill,

Great stuff

yes, very nice indeed
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyBravo5
Probably the best review of the Hawks that I have ever read on the internet. I enjoyed it very much..good job.

Yeah - spot on.

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:00 PM   #9
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Plugging this thread on the InsideHoops.com front page
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:11 PM   #10
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Great article I do believe the prediction is a little to high.

This a young team and even Joe Johnson is a bit inconsitent.

I still see the Hawk as one of the bottom teams in the league 20 - 25 wins.

They got more talented but not better.

Last edited by AKADS : 09-10-2006 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:48 AM   #11
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I agree with a lot of the analysis.

Looking back at last year, the Hawks started so horribly due to Jason Collier dying and not having any decent replacement. Without that horrific start, the Hawks could have won 30 games.

So this year, considering Josh Smith and Josh Childress are in their third year, Joe Johnson is in his second year with the team, Marvin Williams is in his second year, and the additions of Claxton, Sheldon Williams, Lorenzen Wright and Solomon Jones, the Hawks should win 36 games.

The Hawks could even win more if Childress breaks out and gets into Rip territory.

The Hawks could use one more big in the front court to allow Marvin Williams, Sheldon Williams, and Zaza Pachulia to play around 20-24 minutes per game, which is about where they can maximize their skills this year. Either a big man who can shoot or a big man who can play some defense.

The Hawks still have a gaping hole at coach. Mike Woodson mans that position. Enough said.

Billy Knight was able to fill some holes, but it still doesn't make sense to pay two guys $18-19 million (Johnson and Claxton) and not be going into the season with expectations to make the playoffs.

Last edited by hawkfan : 09-10-2006 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkfan
Billy Knight was able to fill some holes, but it still doesn't make sense to pay two guys $18-19 million (Johnson and Claxton) and not be going into the season with expectations to make the playoffs.


It makes sense in the long run. Next year they'll still have tons of cap room and it's not like Portland where you have over 30 million with Randolph, Miles and Raef. Better than off than the Warriors, Seatle, Boston (Ratliff at 11 million) How is Claxton's deal? I think it's like 4 years in the 6 million range so Cleveland paying more for Eric Snow. It's hard being a GM in NBA. I think they're in good shape.

PS great break down on the Hawks
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:27 PM   #13
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This is a very good analysis of the team. However, I do think the win record is a bit too high. Also, Josh Childress got to play the bulk of the minutes at his position(s) last year even though he did not start many games. I wonder if he will be a happy camper if his minutes goes down this year due to the improvement of Josh Smith, and also Joe Johnson going back to play the two guard.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:52 PM   #14
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As others have said, I think the record prediction is a bit too high. I'd say more like 27. I also had no clue that Tyronn Lue shot .457 from three last season. That's pretty damn impressive.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:54 PM   #15
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wow nice review, cant wait to see the knicks
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