Previews are all for pointless fun. So responding to previews probably is less fun and more pointless, but I would be remiss not to add Hoopinion's excellent preview to the list I just put together.
And doing so, I cannot help but add a critique, poke, nudge, prod because, well, the thing is so darn pessimistic. It is hurting my feelings. The final outcome is not mind you. With a retooled east from top to bottom and the big three showing no signs of letting up, 44 wins is entirely possible, realistic even. That could even be good enough for the fourth seed next year.
It should just be noted that pessimism is not realism. It is the opposite of optimism. In all things not Woodson, I tend to stay firmly in half glass full camp. Probably too much so so it does not make my preview better, just happier.
However, Bret does the same thing I do. Ignore some of the facts that don't work for the point. I refuse to look at how last years excellent three point shooting might decline this year. It might. If I am being honest, I should probably put a probably next to that might. I don't examine how a non-superstar team with this makeup has certain humps they probably just cannot overcome.
But if we are going to look at trends and probabilities, Josh Smith should have a better season rebounding and blocking shots. Marvin Williams has improved every year and is historically entering the prime of his career. For Al Horford, the third year is the "get it year" for many players, and big men often develop at a slower rate. Bibby should regress, but he is so bad at things that deteriorate with age already, I struggle to see how the drop will be that big this year. If Joe gets rest, can we expect him to bypass the midseason and postseason slump? What if Jamal Crawford thrives in his 6th man role? Coming off the bench has produced his best stats so far in his career. And of course, it is a Hawks preview so it is a place to question the Hawks health and not other teams, but I put my money on Atlanta's players staying healthy over say Washington or Boston. And if we are going to preview a team based on possible health concerns should we add wins for questions with other teams?
Really, what are blogs but voices? And I should be clear this is not one that is shouting or angry. I think Bret is the best of the best when it comes to Hawks writing. So I just want a little more hope in there that's all. Some of that good projected analysis if the Hawks surprise him again. He probably would just tell me to stop writing sugary sweet pieces first, and I should. The season always does bring out my inner-pessimist. So maybe I will. Regardless, we will certainly argue our points over a beer sometime this season as we did last year.
In the end, it is good to have many voices. But vacuums are bad. If we stayed in them, we would just wallow in our own view points. Sometimes we need a poke here and a poke there. As I wrote this post, I added the second part of its title because all those reasons to be excited might have gone to my head. The season is beginning. I may have needed a poke myself.
And what I hope is this is a blog of good spirited poking and jostling. Agreement is refreshing. Total agreement is horribly boring. We are here to root on the Hawks, but we are also here to disagree. That is what fanposts are for. That is why blogs have comments. And that is why most blog posts are responses to other blog post. In large part, it is what makes sports fun.
In spite of it all, reality is coming. I hope I get to tell Hoopinion "I told you so" in a 6,000 word magnum opus come May. But as the season moves along, I will try to be a little more fair, a tad more honest as we journey through the Hawks together. And it is good to have the Hawks blogosphere around to keep me to that.
Except for Zaza, I will probably not be fair or honest with Zaza.