ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08: Forward Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks retrieves an errant pass during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena on May 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
We are still a couple of months out from the start of the NBA season but Hawks general manager Danny Ferry sat down with Grantland writer Charles Bethea to discuss a variety of topics regarding the new look Atlanta Hawks. Ferry has spearheaded a rebuild of the Hawks roster and cleared up tons of future flexibility but what about this year's product. With Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague the Hawks aren't expecting to take much of a step backwards in the upcoming season but things will be considerably different.
For starters the team will have to delve up the amount of possessions that went to Joe Johnson who at times has dominated the Hawks offense for the last seven seasons. Ferry indicated that players like Teague and new acquisitions Lou Williams and Devin Harris will take on a lot of those touches made available by Johnson's departure.
With Joe gone, the dynamic of our team is naturally going to change. There's going to be more touches and more possessions that other people are gonna be a part of. I would imagine that both Devin [Harris] and Jeff - and Louis [Williams] - will absorb a lot of those. And all of them will become very important to our group.
Ferry continued on to describe his vision of this year's team although he did dance around several questions regarding Josh Smith's penchant for launching long jumpers.
Change can be a good thing. We're gonna play a little differently. With our shooters, we're gonna have more spacing for the guys that can make plays right now. And you look at where our roster sits - with [Kyle] Korver and [Anthony] Morrow and [John] Jenkins - we have three of the best shooters in the NBA. And having one or two guys out there at any time will open the court up for Josh and Al [Horford]. And Al opens the court up for people with his pick and pop play. But it will open up the court for his pick and roll play now. Because there'll be so much more room. With Devin and Lou, we'll play with maybe a little more tempo. They'll be able to get lanes to the basket more. And with the way the game is being called the last few years, with rules changes, it should be advantageous. Korver or Morrow or Jenkins may not average thirty points, but they will create space for the team to be successful on the court.
Tempo, spacing and shooters are not words that could have been used to describe the Hawks in recent years. It looks good on paper but how will it look on the court is the question that fans can't wait to have answered. The entire interview is well worth the read as Ferry also talks about changing the culture and the perception around the Hawks. Its not going to be an easy job but he is well on his way to a good start.