I consider myself an optimist. Two years ago, I would never have thought about the Hawks reaching the playoffs, let alone taking the eventual champions to 7 games. Three years ago, I muttered/coughed suspiciously whenever someone asked me what my favorite team was. Four years ago, I subjected myself to a virtual coma, ignoring--for the most part--the NBA world entirely.
As for this year, well, I never expected the future to look so bright. But what, I have to ask, is the future?
Mike Woodson: I like the guy. I really do. And in my eyes he's a good coach, because the team has improved every year for the past four years. So I'm not going to even touch this topic.
Most likely, it will not include Joe Johnson. I've resigned myself to this fact begrudgingly. It'd cost too much money to resign him, and his body has been worn down besides.
The future, I believe, lies with Josh Smith. He has the potential to become one of the greatest players in history--if his atrocious free throw shooting and jump shot is corrected. Even on his home floor, Josh Smith recieves a resounding "Noooooo" whenever he fires a jump shot--but those jumpers need working on, anyway. And summer is a long ways off. I say: let Smoove shoot that jumper; let Smoove work.
But the free throws--even I can't rationalize that away. My high school teamates shoot better than Josh at the charity stripe. Inexcusable? Probably. Dissapointing? Definitely.
The future lies also with Teague and Crawford. Joe's probably going to leave, and Bibby's probably going to retire--these two are the near-perfect replacements. If not better players, they'll be--at the least--equivalent.
I'm not attempting to draw a contrast between the frontcourt and the backcourt--both are rediculously important. What I am trying to relate--with the inevitable advent of 50 wins on the horizon--is the apprehension riddled era of change. Because changes are coming to Atlanta, and they may be the difference between "just another" 50 win season and a championship.
Tell me what you think in the poll or in the comments section. Go Hawks!