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BDL Previews the Hawks

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Kelly Dwyer:

The Hawks were so all over the place in 2007-08, both on the court and off, that the 36 wins I have them penciled in for even seems like a stretch.

It might not make any sense to those who weren't watching, what with the team's young core and with the late-season exposure the Hawks received, but Atlanta actually started 2006-07 as a top-notch defensive team. In fact, for most of the season — while most scribes and TV pundits talked about the team's offensive firepower and Joe Johnson's scoring touch — it was defense that was winning games for these Hawks.

That slowed as winter thawed, however, and especially after the team traded for Mike Bibby. What followed were some offensive gains that, frankly, I don't think the team can keep up. Entering this season, are these Hawks going to have it in them to get back to that defensive mindset? Are they going to play the same hungry D that won them contract extensions (for coaches and players), or are they going to point fingers and look for shots?

There's more there, much more. Things that shouldn't be taken out of context more. Check it out.