Saturday, August 15, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

Well, if ESPN's report is true, it looks like my prediction was untrue and Joe Smith decided to play for the Hawks at the veteran's league minimum (big up to Third Falcon for his assertion that he would play for the Hawks on the cheap).

Now, while I find it surprising, I don't want that to be confused with any lack of happiness that we have another big man in the fold and one that is a veteran who can play basketball. Finally, we are happy with an offseason move made by the Hawks that addresses an area of weakness we carried into the postseason.

What Joe Smith brings is rebounding, spot up jump shooting, and most importantly (in my eyes), a veteran presence to mentor and teach Horford and Smoove how to play the game. Hopefully, his presence will provide a voice in the locker room who can augment what the coach is trying to impart to the team. That can never be underestimated.

While we're not ready to say that the Hawks are on their way to 50 wins and a challenging 2nd round playoff fight, we are ready to say that if Woodson can find himself employing a 10 man rotation of JJ, Bibby, Horford, Josh, Williams, Evans, Crawford, Teague, Joe Smith, and Pachulia - I can certainly say to you that I'd be happy to say - let's see what Woodson and these Hawks are made of. Let's hope that comes to fruition.

5 comments:

thirdfalcon said...

The thing that surprises me the most is that he is apparently signing for the veteran's minimum. I guess he just felt like this is the best situation for him, or maybe the Hawks aggressiveness in pursuing him impressed him?

Either way I think the best thing about this is that it takes a lot of responsibility and pressure off of Zaza. So he can play more wild, and maybe bash a few heads every once in a while without a huge dropoff when he fouls out or gets ejected.

We have depth now, so we'll see how Woodson does. Theoretically we're two deep at every position, and there is no excuse not to win more than 50 games and challenge for the ECF. It's time to get ready for a season that should answer lots of questions!

Jesse said...

While I enjoy your enthusiasm TF, I don't think I'm ready to make that kind of leap.

As for Joe Smith, I hear it basically came down to playing time. Cleveland and Atlanta were offering the same deal, a one year league vet minimum contract, and he felt he would get more PT in Atlanta. I'll take it though because he definitely fills a major need for us and I don't want Cleveland having any more options than they already have.

Here's to hoping all the pieces fall into place this year, both physically and mentally (I'm looking at you Smoove!).

thirdfalcon said...

Jesse,

lol, I got fired up when I saw that he picked us over the Cavs for the same money. But I don't think I 'm going out on a limn to say that the season would be a failure for Woodson if he doesn't win 50 games and at least give a good showing in the second round. Not that I'm necessarily predicting that, but those are the stakes this year as far as I'm concerned.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

Interestingly, I don't have a 50 win tag on Woodson's head. Again, I think trying to prepare this team for the playoffs may require tolerance for more losses than last year. I'd say that only a good 2nd round showing (which I think will require more reliance on an inside game and development of Jeff Teague) is my litmus test for consideration of a Woodson extension.

Like I will continue to say, even though I don't think it's as hard these days to win 50 games in a diluted NBA - 50 wins shouldn't be the goal. The goal should be preparation for the playoffs. Yes, the 4th seed is nice and desired, but I'd rather them prepare themselves to actually destroy a 1st round opponent and upset a 2nd round opponent. That can't be predicated on hoping no one gets injured and that we'll hit jump shots all season long.

Jesse said...

TF,

That's cool. I have no problem with people putting a 50-win season on Woodson. I, personally, am just not going to expect it. Plus, because I don't think it will happen, if those are the expectations, maybe that will just help to get rid of Woodson sooner.

I just think this team in Woodson's system has peaked and will regress this year in the basic win column. I still think we will make the playoffs, but I'm not sure we'll make it out of the first round this time around.

As for Smith, of the Joe variety, that made me laugh as well. He basically chose to go with a chance at more playing time over a much greater chance at winning a ring. Bonus to us I suppose.