Re: Joe Johnson
idizzle, the Hawks were only in contention last year because of how horrible the middle and lower part of the eastern conference was. Boston, Charlotte, New York and Orlando all added at least 1 big time established talent who figures to do more for them than the rookies will do for Atlanta, so those competitors just got a lot stronger. Young teams at the top figure to get better as well. The Hawks are going to need a ton of things to go their way (i.e. lots of luck) if they even want to finish in the top 10 in the East IMO. I think all 8 of last years playoff teams plus the Celtics, Knicks, and Bobcats will be better than them for sure. Indiana is the definition of mediocre, but they are a veteran team with a lot of depth, so they don't figure to fall off much. Philly seems to be young and on the rise (to some degree) and tied for 9th with 35 wins last year, and getting a training camp with their Andre Miller lead roster figures to help, so they should at least compete with ATL. That only leaves Milwaukee, and they had even more injury problems than ATL last year and finished with only 2 less wins. I don't think there is a single team in the East that Atlanta can say it is definitely better than. Not saying they will be the worst team, but I think every other team's fans have reason to think they will be better. At least a few big injuries will happen of course, and that will go a long way towards determining which of those roughly equally bad teams actually finish at and near the bottom. The playoffs are almost surely another year or two off (at least).
As far as the actual topic, 28/7/6 is probably a little high. If ATL stays in the cellar and loses a lot of it's depth of young talent, I could see that. If they keep developing and improving I think he's more of a team first guy who's scoring won't go much higher than it was last year (and possibly goes down) as he lets the other talented guys get plenty of touches. He's also never shown any hint that he's going to grab more than about 5 rebounds per game in a season. He's played 40 minutes a game for 4 straight years and averaged about 4 and a half rebounds over that span, 5.1 being the high. He's only been getting 4 per in ATL, with more size around him and a slower pace than PHX. It's possible he could have one great year in that cat, but once again his team would probably have to be pretty damn bad, and even then it's not a great bet.