In true Str8Talk fashion, it was with great hope that we thought that the Hawks would be players in the offseason. So, we decided that it was time to assess what the top teams have done in free agency to date AND figure out where the Hawks project out for next season's playoff seeding based on that assessment.
So, in NBA news...and reporting on teams that were as good or better than the Hawks last season
1. Lakers - picked up Artest, lost Ariza
2. Nuggets - Done nothing yet
3. Spurs - picked up Jefferson
4. Blazers - picked up Turkgolu
5. Rockets - picked up Ariza, lost Artest, injury woes with McGrady and Yao
6. Mavericks - in limbo with Kidd
7. Hornets - Nothing
8. Jazz - all potential free agents decided to stay
1. Cavs - picked up Shaq
2. Celtics - lost Marbury, might be able to pick up Wallace, injury issues with Garnett
3. Magic - lost Lee, Turkgolu, and Alston...got Carter
4. Hawks - picked up Crawford - still unsure about Zaza, Flip, Childress, Bibby, Marvin Williams
5. Heat - nothing
6. Sixers - nothing, but Brand should be coming back
7. Bulls - lost Gordon
8. Pistons - picked up Gordon, Villanueva...losing Wallace & Iverson
9. Wizards - picking up Arenas, Foye, and Miller
Now, looking at this list...it becomes fairly apparent that the Hawks are performing up to recent standards (last midseason included) with regards to making championship level improvements. There's no doubt that the Hawks have caught no one this offseason and likely have sacrificed their ability to even get the 4th seed in the East. In the West, all the teams have made moves with the understanding that to stand pat is to allow another team to pass you by.
While there were many who were excited about Jamal Crawford, count us among those who were not. I'd much rather be in the position of the Pistons, Bulls, or Wizards this offseason and despite the Magic's net loss - they still are better than the Hawks at full strength. Which brings us to our current state...we still have no point guard (Teague, Crawford, Johnson are all shooting guards - don't let anyone tell you otherwise), we still don't have a center (or a backup center), and the ownership is not known for spending money.
So, where does that leave us during the offseason...as the #8 seed at best. Fortunately, the Heat haven't done anything or else we'd be staring at the possibility of not being in the playoffs this upcoming season. To be sure, things certainly can change with a few contract signings, a few injuries, or coaching changes, but as it stands - we are a team in hopes of making the playoffs ONCE AGAIN. These thoughts of 50 win seasons are not being harbored by this fan. Let's hope that we are singing a different song on Aug. 1st.
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