With the exhibition season winding down and the regular season just around the corner I thought that it would be a good time to look at some of the various previews for the Atlanta Hawks from around the blogosphere. THHB and yours truly have already weighed in with our prediction and I still stand behind my stated prediction of wins even though I admit that I am slightly concerned.
Here are some tidbits from other Hawks previews around the web:
The two Peachtree Hoops writers are optimistic the Hawks will continue to be a good team, predicting 50-32 and 52-30 records, respectively. I'm much more pessimistic. I'll say the Hawks dip to 45-37, and I'm starting to wonder if even that's optimistic.
One thing I came to appreciate about the Woodson era was the constancy of his approach: switch picks, don’t turn the ball over, win mostly low-scoring games. It wasn’t very exciting basketball, but it certainly worked, and in six seasons under Woodson, the Hawks methodically went from a 13-win team to a 53-win team
The appeal of Drew to the organization is his commitment to changing how those same players play. He’s promised to ditch Mike Woodson’s isolation-heavy offense for a motion attack and to no longer have Josh Smith and Al Horford switch every ball-screen to cover for the guards’ inability to stay in front of opponents. Both changes should make the Hawks less predictable but it’s unclear if either can make the Hawks better.
It was clear the Hawks had gone as far as they could under Woodson. Unclear is whether a guy who has been around this team — the starting five of which has remained unchanged since February 2008 — all along can be an agent of change. It’s possible Drew could represent an upgrade; it’s also possible he could be to Woodson as Ron Jirsa was to Tubby Smith at Georgia.
The Hawks starting five remains one of the game's best and they have some depth on paper but you have to figure they will take a step back in the Southeast. Orlando remains a beast in the division while Miami has added All- Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
When motivated, the Hawks have been able to play with anyone but their energy level can vary greatly from game-to-game and that ended up costing Woodson his job.
The more things change, the more they stay the same – at least in Atlanta. This Hawks team will look quite a bit like the Hawks teams of the past. Atlanta is not a great rebounding team – and it does not defend very well on the perimeter. The core is young, but they have played together in the same system for a while now. Even with a coaching change (see below), there’s not much different in Atlanta. While the starting 5 are respectable, the bench leaves much to be desired. Expect more of the same from Atlanta – a winning team that is simply not built for the playoffs.
There is a lot of good stuff in each and every preview posted here. No all of them are not as optimistic as the one that was posted here at Peachtree Hoops but I think they are all fair. These have all been posted in the last few days but if I missed one please add the link in the comments section.