Here in the 2nd installment of the top 10 Hawks in the past 10 seasons, I reveal to you my top 5. As stated in the previous article, players were evaluated based on full season statistics with the team, as well as any awards received, and years of service with the team among other things.
Here we go.
5. Jeff Teague (2009-present)
439 G, .450 FG%, .341 3P%, .839 FT%, 2.1 REB, 5.0 AST, 1.2 STL, 11.5 PPG
Jeff cracks the top 5 as the best point guard the Hawks have had in the past decade. Sure we saw a couple of good seasons out of Mike Bibby and Tyronn Lue, but Teague has been the Hawks only All Star point guard since Mookie Blaylock back in 1993-94. He was able to develop while Mike Bibby played out his last couple of decent seasons of his career in Atlanta, and has turned into a piece the Hawks have been missing for years.
Although scoring slightly less points per game this season than last, Teague was able to increase his assists and steals averages to help run a Hawks team that won the most games in franchise history. At 26 years old, he has given more to the Hawks than they could ask for considering their history, and his place in Hawks history will continue to write itself for at least another two seasons.
Here's some of Jeff's best from last season:
4. Paul Millsap (2013-present)
147 G, .468 FG%, .357 3P%, .743 FT%, 8.1 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.8 STL, 1.0 BLK, 17.3 PPG
Although just having two years under his belt with the team, I have to put Paul Millsap at the 4 spot. His production since his arrival has been very important for this team, and while not being the superstar that many might feel the Hawks need, his All Star production has been an amazing contribution, and has worked out great for Mike Budenholzer.
One of Millsap's greatest contributions as a Hawk has been the relief he has provided for Al Horford. His scoring ability, along with his production on the glass has been monumental. As great as DeMarre Carroll had been for the past couple of seasons, there is clearly a reason why the Hawks retained Millsap. He is a necessity, and a player the Hawks and Hawks fans alike can look forward to watching in the future.
When Millsap breaks out in games like this, it is a thing of beauty:
3. Josh Smith (2004-13)
676 G, .465 FG%, .283 3P%, .654 FT%, 8 REB, 3.2 AST, 1.3 STL, 2.1 BLK, 15.3 PPG
Perhaps the most debated slot on this list, comes J-Smoove. Josh Smith was around for some of the worst and some of the better days in Atlanta Hawks basketball history. Smith didn't necessarily always play the best, or even play smart, but in a time when the Hawks had virtually nothing, he gave you something, and was able to improve with the arrival of our next two players on the list.
J-Smoove is 9th in Atlanta Hawks history in games played, 5th in minutes played, 7th in total rebounds, and 2nd in blocks. The explosiveness and power he brought to the floor really exemplified Philips Arena being called The Highlight Factory. Yeah, we all held our breaths every time he took a 3-pointer. Did it get extremely irritating towards the end of his time in Atlanta? Sure. But taking into consideration where the franchise had been, and the numbers he put up for this franchise, and where he started with us, it would be a shame to leave him out of the top 3.
Here are his top 10 plays as an Atlanta Hawk:
2. Al Horford (2007-present)
496 G, .541 FG%, .323 3P%, .738 FT%, 9.2 REB, 2.7 AST, 14.2 PTS
In at 2, is none other than Al Horford. To draw a comparison to another Atlanta franchise, the Braves, Al Horford's jersey/shirt is as recognizable in Philips Arena as a Chipper Jones jersey/shirt was from 1995-2012. Unfortunately, Al has experienced some injuries in a couple of seasons where his production was missed to extreme levels. He has been that important to this franchise over the years, and more than likely will until the day he retires.
Horford is 10th in franchise history in rebounds, 2nd in field goal percentage, and 7th in blocks per game. He is a 3-time All Star, and many would argue that he has deserved more than that. No matter what has happened around him in his time as a Hawk, he has always been the one constant. Night in and night out, everyone knows what they will see out of Al Horford, and there isn't much more you could ask for out of a guy than that.
Of course, this:
1. Joe Johnson (2005-12)
508 G, .449 FG%, .363 3P%, .808 FT%, 4.2 REB, 5.2 AST, 1.0 STL, 20.9 PTS
Finally, Joe Johnson is your greatest Atlanta Hawk of the past 10 seasons. Joe was the closest thing the Hawks have come to having a superstar since Dominique Wilkins, and provided so many amazing games during his tenure with the Hawks. In his time with the Hawks, he totaled six All Star appearances. Johnson had five seasons where he averaged over 20 points, his best coming in 2006-07 when he averaged 25. He is 2nd in Atlanta Hawks history in 3-point shots, 5th in assists, 6th in points, and 2nd in minutes per game.
Joe gave you some really good memories, and also some not so great ones, but his tenure as an Atlanta Hawk has arguably the most exciting in the past 10 seasons. To watch him really get on a roll was amazing at times, as we were able to see his great 3-point shooting display many times over. Based on his numbers, stardom, and excitement, I have to put Joe Johnson (today) at No. 1.
Here's his 4th quarter Game 4 performance against the Celtics from 2008, because it's amazing:
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @harrylylesjr.