"J-J-J Joe Johnson"..... That phrase is what everyone heard after the perrenial allstar, Joe Johnson, made a spectacular shot, especially a buzzer beater. Will that phrase be missed, yea, but for the avid Hawks fans, it isn't as big of a blow as the casual NBA viewer may see it. Us fans know of the power of Joe but we also know that his power had its limits especially in the playoffs (every year smh). His lackluster performances in the playoffs made us, the avid fans, believe that he isn't as good as his contract made him out to be. However, during the regular season, Joe would have spectacular games putting up a shooting clinic and occasionally, bail us out in clutch situations time and time again. The casual NBA viewer would see Joe as our only hope for playoff contention but us real fans know that those regular season Joe performances will mean nothing come playoff time.
Furthermore, us real fans know that there is no way that the play of Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, and Al Horford will go down after the absence of Cool Joe. Josh last year showed the league why he is the true face of our franchise tieing the team in PPG and in the top 2 in all other significant stats. Teague also came into his own showing that he has the talent to be the future PG of the Hawks. Casual fans look at Jeff's stats and would think "Huh, he's just a so-so point guard. Not much showing for him." Real fans, who watch every Hawks games, see Jeff''s explosive nature and his ability to be a floor general. So with the departure of Iso Joe, Jeff will get a lot more time to shine. Al Horford should be as consistent as ever after his season ending shoulder injury. His stable mid-range game should be back to form during next season. These players should make tremendous strides this season in order to keep Hawks relevant and hopefully, more than that.
Now let's take a look at the new players who will most likely impact us a couple of ways Post iso Joe Era. Out everyone that came out of the trade of Johnson, only Anthony Morrow stood out to me. For the casual NBA fans who are not familiar with Morrow, he is a LIGHTS OUT shooter. He can fill it up from the three point line and is considered one of the top 10 3 point shooters in the league. Us avid Hawks fans saw him four times every year every year he played for New Jersey and we know of his sniper skills. Another shooter that would help us is Kyle Korver. The casual NBA viewer would know him as the "Ashton Kutcher looking guy" who runs a lot and can fire from deep. He too is considered one of the top 10 three point shooters in the league for good reason. His quick release is deadly to opponents who are left by him when he comes off screens and plus, his screen running is an excellent diversion for the offense as putting too much focus on him as the defense creates openings for his teammates. Korver's defense is pedestrian at best but what he brings to the table positively far outweighs his faults. Another player from the Joe Johnson trade that may be of use is Deshawn Stevenson. I think every type of fan knew him as the guy who locked down Lebron, yes Lebron James, in the 2011 NBA Finals. Stevenson's corner 3's and gritty defense will help especially if we need him to guard The King again. I would like to say that rookie, John Jenkins may be impactful but we know how LD (Larry Drew for you casuals) likes to treat rookies *hint hint Jeff Teague's first couple of years.
Yes, us Hawks fans are expecting something from those guys but the new guys I'm going to discuss now are the players who should make a deep impact for us. Let's start with former Hawk killer Devin Harris. For the casual NBA viewer, I call him the former Hawk killer because us avid fans know of what he did to us as a New Jersey Net. His super explosive speed and quickness will put the best of players in foul trouble (also because of his acting skills). Harris's 3 point game has gone down after his departure from New Jersey but he is still a marksman from 3. Him and Teague as the starting backcourt (I'm assuming) should be the fastest backcourt in the league behind Milwaukee's backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Question to the casual NBA viewer, what does Sweet Lou mean to you? If you know what I'm talking about then you know of the offensive prowess of Louis Williams. Williams is one of the best sixth men in the league last year. He can fill it up from short, mid, and long range just as good as the next guy, He also loved to get to the free throw line which is an added bonus to my book. His PPG last year led Philly in scoring (while coming of the bench). The same will be needed from him this season. Some may think that he will play like a Jamal Crawford for us showing only offense no defense but let me tell you that he is a tight nit defender despite his size.
With the players we already had combined with the players we received should sufficient in replacing JJ's impact and should even surpass his impact. The casuals might think that stars are everything in determining playoff contention but if you look at history, depth is also beneficial for example the Nuggets post Carmelo trade and basically, the 2004 Pistons. The avid fans know that we don't have too much to worry about since the guys he have now should do a decent job (did I mention to forget that we resigned Ivan the Terrible). This year for the Hawks should show us avid fans and the rest of the league that WE WILL NOT MISS J-J-J JOE JOHNSON.