Well here we are Hawks fans, one week after the All-Star break and also the week after the trade deadline. I for one am thankful that the drama is over and that we can move onto Hawks basketball. It's no mystery that everyone outside of Atlanta wanted Josh Smith moved so thankfully we can put this behind us. So moving on, we are hitting the final stretch of the season and also fighting for playoff position. Marc Stein of ESPN.com is going to get us started with this final stretch of the season by moving the Hawks up 1 spot to #16.
With so much focus on Josh Smith lately and whether Atlanta could find a trade partner to take on J-Smoove, we're all guilty of paying insufficient attention to Al Horford. The Hawks are 15-2 when Horford -- limited to only 11 games last season because of a muscle tear -- scores 20 or more.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com who also has us at #16.
No Josh Smith trade means that we haven't seen the last of the nifty Smith/Horford pick-and-roll that got the Hawks a big basket in Saturday's win in Milwaukee. As we've focused on Smith's future, Al Horford has averaged 24.2 points and 10.0 boards, and shot 68 percent over the last five games. He's having another strong season and he absolutely took it to Larry Sanders for Saturday's game-winner.
Sam Amico of foxsports.com drops Atlanta to #17 while making mention of Ferry holding onto Josh.
Likely to spend pre- and post-trade deadline in flux, as no one seems certain where Josh Smith will be playing in a week. Hawks will either stay the course or gut the team.
GM Danny Ferry had no problem shuffling the Hawks' roster last offseason, but he chose to keep Josh Smith at the deadline rather than trade him for players he didn't really want. Whether he's worth it or not, Smith will likely receive something close to a max contract this summer, meaning his days in Atlanta could be numbered. If the forward walks for nothing this summer, Ferry is banking that the cap room created by Smith's departure will be more valuable than any players or draft picks the Hawks could have received for him in a trade.
Atlanta Hawks (32-23, previous ranking: 12th): Hawks forward Al Horford had the third 20-20 game of his career with 23 points and a career-high-tying 22 rebounds in a win at Detroit on Monday night. The Hawks have won three straight.
Is holdover Larry Drew still in trouble under new GM Danny Ferry? on 5-1 run, with four of those wins on the road, they need to show their embattled coach some love.