Tuesday, May 19, 2015

When the Hawks Make Their First ECF, You Have to Write Something

Blows dust off keyboard.........Writing about my Atlanta Hawks making the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in history is not easy for me. When I blogged about this team on a somewhat consistent basis, they were never in danger of winning a championship, and that made it easy. Though I gleefully wrote about the wins, I knew that at the end of the season, they wouldn't really mean anything.  Hawks bloggers of yesteryear are in unfamiliar territory. We expect them to win the East.

There was a time when I would have been happy just to have an ECF appearance. It's literally all I wanted. I was never greedy enough to hope for a championship. I just wanted them to get out of the second round, if only to give the illusion that they were good enough to win it all. Now that they've made it to the ECF, I'm feeling greedy. I desperately want them to win this series against the Cavs, and unlike years past, I will be extremely disappointed if they don't. The Hawks were the best team in the conference, and it literally wasn't even close. They've basically been dribbling out the clock since February, so it's not unreasonable to expect them to be the last team standing in the East. They don't look great heading into this series, but style points don't count in the NBA, so.... *shrugs*.

Being a Hawks fans has always been a glass half-empty sort of deal, and at its core, this blog is rooted in skepticism and snark. But, not this time. I'm not going to bitch and moan about all the things I think Coach Bud could do better. He's the reigning Coach of the Year, so for argument's sake, we'll assume he knows a little bit more about how to win NBA games than I.
I'm not even going to mention all the things that almost did us in during the Washington series. Nope. Now is not the time for any of that. I'm going to go glass half-full, and assume they'll make all the necessary adjustments to prove that this whole season wasn't a fluke. The Hawks
were better than the Cavaliers all season, and I damn sure expect that to still be true when this series is over.
Hawks in 6.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops

Friday, October 25, 2013

2013-2014 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview: I'm not saying they should tank, but....

It's almost time to tip-off another season of Atlanta Hawks basketball, and I am very concerned about this team. I don't have any delusions that the Hawks could be a good team. At best, this is probably a 7th or 8th seed. However, making the playoffs would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to this team, but I kinda get the feeling that the powers that be are going to try to do just that.
I'm not saying they should tank, I'm just saying they should play well enough to miss the playoffs. Anyone concerned with the well being of this team going forward, should aspire to be in the lottery. At the end of this season, anything more than the lottery, and less than a championship is a failure.
Over on Hawkstr8talk.com, Larry presents a very good post about how you need a HOFer to win a championship, among other things. The Hawks don't have a HOFer on their roster. Hell, they barely have an All-Star. Considering players don't want to come to Atlanta (something that truly baffles me) that's likely not going to change unless the Hawks happen to draft a future HOFer. I'd love to think they could make a trade for a great player who's still in his prime, but I think we all know that's not going to happen. Just think about it. When perennial All-Stars start demanding trades to a handful of destinations, Atlanta is never on any of their lists. We're just not going find ourselves on the receiving end of a trade or free agency signing that's going to turn our team into an instant championship contender. I've accepted that, and you should too.
Their best bet is to put themselves in position to have a great player fall into their laps. They're going to have to get into the lottery. There's no guarantee that they're going to get a number one pick, but at this point, they at least have to try. This is actually a really good time for them to start building through the lottery for the next few years. LeBron is in his prime, and unless he decides to take a few years off to take care of a gambling problem realize his dream as a NFL player, it's probably going to be awhile before anyone else comes out of the Eastern Conference. A couple of teams will put up a good fight, push the Heat to 6 games here and there, but if LeBron is healthy, the Heat should own the East for a few more years. So, now is as good of a time as any to play well enough to miss the playoffs.
I know from a business perspective, it's not the best idea to have a shitty team, but I'm not financially invested in the Hawks so I don't really give a damn about what kind of losses they may or may not incur.  I'm just a fan, and I want to root for a team that has a legitimate chance to win a championship at some point in my lifetime. Sometimes you have to take a few steps backward before you can start to move forward. That's the position the Atlanta Hawks organization is in at the moment. They can continue to trot out mediocre teams who aren't a threat to win a damn thing, or they can put themselves in position to draft the guy who can turn the team into a legitimate contender. You know which choice I'm in favor of. What say you?

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No One Wants to Watch the Hawks, and I Don't Blame Them

Atlanta Hawks basketball games are not aesthetically pleasing most nights. This little fact is nothing to get all worked up about. There are a lot of Hawks fans who are genuinely upset about the numerous ways the masses have decided they don't care about the Hawks/Pacers series. I'm going to let you all in on a little secret.....  I don't like watching Hawks games either. I can't think of anything I voluntarily do that frustrates me more. There's nothing cool about being a Hawks fan.  Nothing. My Grandmother calls me during every Hawks game to taunt me. I'm not kidding. She's 72 years old, and she goes out of her way to remind me that they aren't very good. Here's a typical conversation EVERY time the Hawks play.

Granny: Hey Landy, what are you doing?
Me: Nothing. What are you doing?
Granny: Watching your Hawks. You know they're gonna get their butt's beat.
Me: Nah, we could win this game. (then I spout off about 3 different scenarios that could lead to victory, depending on who they're playing)
Granny: You know them other boys come ready tonight. Y'all ain't trying to do nothing. 
Me: Leave my boys alone, we got this.

 If they actually win, she calls me back and expresses complete and utter shock that they were able to pull it off. If they lose, she doesn't even bother to call back, because hell, I guess I should have expected it
Bottom line, if I weren't a Hawks fan, I wouldn't watch their games either. 

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion,

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hawks-Pacers Prediction

Hawks in 6.  I haven't blogged about the team this year, due to circumstances completely within my control.....I had other things to do.  And honestly, I just didn't have anything new to say about the team.  There was a lot of turnover, but the inconsistency that plagued this team was still strong.  They're a stubborn bunch. They've been unable to commit to being really good or really bad. They're just somewhere in between, as usual. Unlike the wonderful guys over at Peachtreehoops, I have to be motivated to write about this team. I wasn't, so I didn't. Anyway, the only team in the East I would have picked over the Hawks in the first round is the Heat. They aren't playing the Heat, so........

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Giving Larry Drew Credit.

Twenty games into the season, and I can confidently say the Hawks are a good team. We all know I'm not really a Larry Drew fan, but I have to give him an enormous amount of credit for self correcting and helping the Hawks avoid losing games unnecessarily. When the season started he was playing Anthony Tolliver regularly. Thankfully he realized that doing so was counterproductive.  Is that the biggest reason the Hawks are 14-6? Probably not, but it needed to be said. Go Hawks.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: 2012-2013 Season Preview

Here's the thing, this is exactly what I wanted.  For at least the past two seasons, I've been on the "let Joe go and build around Josh and Al" bandwagon. I'd seen enough of that group to know they had peaked. I appreciated all that Joe had done for the franchise, but it was obvious that he was never going to get them within striking distance of the Larry O'Brien trophy. Rick Sund obviously did not agree with my assessment.  The moment he was able to offer Joe a max contract, he did so without hesitation. I remember the queasiness I felt when I heard about the deal.  I have nothing against Joe, but as a Hawks fan, that was a pretty clear signal that ownership was content with being good, not great. While other teams were making big moves, the Hawks were chilling, acting as if they were a perfectly seasoned steak and a pinch of any extra spice would just ruin it.
They were insistent on staying the course. I can understand not wanting to go back to being a 13 win team if you're the Atlanta Spirit Group. Times are hard, and Atlantans would be hard pressed to spend their disposable income on an atrocious product.  I get it. Seriously. But, since I'm not financially invested in the team, I'm not afraid of the Hawks taking a step back.  If they have to go back to winning 13 games in order to have a legitimate chance to compete for a championship, I'm all for it.  Believe it or not, I'm a big picture kinda gal.
This past summer the ASG made some huge changes.  They replaced Rick Sund with Danny Ferry, and apparently gave him the green light to replace whomever he saw fit. He was able to undo the wrong Sund did a couple of summers before. HE GOT JOE OFF THE BOOKS!!!!!  Joe is scheduled to make a king's ransom over the next 4 years, and Danny Ferry made unloading him look easy. God bless him. Having already gained the adulation of many a Hawks blogger, he then got Marvin Williams off the books. At that point he was jut showing off. He unloaded a marginal superstar with a monstrous contract, and an underachieving player who's paid like an asset.  No matter how this season turns out for Atlanta, he should get some Executive of the Year votes.
After all was said and done, the Hawks brought in some decent players to try to replace Joe Johnson. Lou Williams, Devin Harris Kyle Korver, John Jenkins, Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson all have an opportunity to endear themselves to Hawks fans. As history has shown us in Atlanta, they don't have to be great, they just need to be good. The players on the Hawks roster who need to be great are, Josh, Al and Jeff.  Quiet as kept, Josh has been the most important player on the team for a number of years. His contract is up, so I fully expect him to have a career year. Al has been consistent, but if there's another level of productivity within him, this would be the perfect year for him to reach it. Jeff needs to show us who he really is. This is a make or break year for him as far as I'm concerned. I was clamoring for him to get the chance to run this team from the moment they drafted him. It's time for him to show us whether or not the point guard position is one that still needs to be addressed.
All things considered, I think this team will enjoy the element of surprise. I expect them to win around 47 games, and finish no lower than 6th in the conference. Go Hawks!

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Joe Johnson: A Quick Look Back

The Joe Johnson era has officially come to an end..... It wasn't as anti-climactic as it appears. Joe helped make the Hawks relevant again. It only took $70 million to convince him to come to Atlanta and gain the title of "the guy who came to Atlanta when no one else wanted to." He definitely deserves that title, but people make it seem like he came for the veterans minimum. He was paid handsomely to come resurrect this franchise, and try to make a name for himself. Congratulations to him for doing so.
I personally will remember the Joe Johnson era fondly. It had its issues, but doesn't everything?  Sure the offense was stagnant at times, but that's not all his fault. He played many years with no point guard, and for a coach who would routinely say, "The offense will take care of itself." You've gotta do the best you can with the resources available. All things considered, he did a decent job.  He came to Atlanta and transformed himself into a 6x All-Star, and he got a group of dudes to pay him damn near $200 million. It would be silly to look at his time here as anything other than a success. There's no need to point out all of his shortcomings. That would just be nitpicking, and I'm not going to do that. I don't have time, and honestly, he doesn't deserve that. Joe handled the role of "very good player, miscast as a superstar" with grace and elegance. For that, he deserves applause.
I'm happy I got to watch some of Joe's best moments, up close and personal. He's no Kobe or LeBron, but dammit, he had his moments.
I wish him well in Brooklyn.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hawkstr8talk and Hoopinion,