Since there isn't much left to say about the Hawks offseason, it's time to do some overviews of the players and what we want to see in 2009-10.
Before we do that, a few housekeeping items:
1. It looks like there are rumors we'll be adding Jason Collins and possibly another player or two to the roster before it's all said and done. Can I advocate for Ramon Sessions or even Flip Murray still? Yes, I know we aren't spending more than veteran minimums, but man - I can dream of us being overloaded with talent and letting Woodson deal with an embarrassment (for the Hawks) of riches.
2. Until the season starts, just warning everyone now that some fantasy football talk may find itself on the blog. Gotta keep the consistency of writing intact...let's go Matt Forte! Sorry, but that is my theme for this year.
3. If the Minnesota Timberwolves are my team, I'm thrilled we have a new coach, Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn, and a new owner. I'm sad that we actually picked a guy with our first pick a guy that won't be available to us for 2 years when there were talents that we needed to add to the squad now. Actually, while we're talking about this, I won't be surprised if a team like San Antonio or Toronto finds a way to trade for Rubio's rights and waits for him to end up being a star in a few years. Speaking of which, knowing our point guard situation isn't settled (read: I'm not sold on Teague as a star point guard prospect any more than I was sold on Acie Law IV) - would it be ideal for the Hawks to try to get Rubio to take over for Bibby a few years from now?
Ok, enough housekeeping...on to Al 'Boss' Horford,
Positives: Strong, Professional, Plays Defense, A Winning Personality/Demeanor, Possibly a Shane Battier type (meaning he makes the team better when he's on the court despite any numbers that prove it), Hard Worker
Negatives: Low Post Offense has yet to develop (whether it b/c of the team style, coaching philosophy, or talent level is up for debate), Low Post Defense is affect by his playing out of position
This year's outlook: It's hard to say what Al Horford will become because we are playing him a position that hides his abilities. It would be a joy to watch Horford guard power forwards in this league and to see if he could produce points against power forwards in our system. Now, Horford could still be a scorer in this league, but only if the goal is for him to beat centers up the floor and score buckets. Unfortunately, we don't run enough for that to be something we can count on, so we continue to see Horford as a valued Emeka Okafor.
No one seems to have a complaint about Al Horford - everyone loves Al. I even love Al, but what I have to keep saying is - even if Woodson doesn't give him the touches - you should be able to see the talent oozing from him to the point where more than a few times a season - even the coach shouldn't be able to hold him back. And yet, I've only seen about 3 games where I saw Al Horford dominate a game. I've seen Josh, Joe, and even Marvin show that they have ability to dominate a game. In fact, I've seen that from Flip Murray on more than a few stretches.
So, while I appreciate his consistency and steadiness, I want Al to be a star. I've yet to see his star shine enough to make me feel better about his consistency than I feel about Josh's obvious untapped talents in every way (save the decision to take jump shots). Is there something that I'm missing? if so, please chime in. Is it simply the system, the coach, or is it Al? Bottom line, we need Al to become a 18 and 12 guy in order for us to seriously contend for the top 4 in the East and to push for an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Does he have it in him?
Column: Analyzing the Hawks vs. Pacers series - Can the Hawks really upset the Indiana Pacers in the first round? It's plausible, and that's what matters. For a while it didn't look like the Atlanta ...
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