Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HawkStr8Talk's Training Camp

There's not much that has changed that we want to comment on regarding the offseason, but we did want to say that there are many people who are excited about the Hawks' prospects at being the 4th seed.

So, it's time to just lay the ground work for the rest of October.

1. We'll be posting weekly as we lead up to our 2nd Annual Team Outlook post, Team Prediction post, and the newly configured Game Recap.
2. We'll have some ticket giveaways and ticket specials for the Hawks and Thrashers available on the blog this year, so stay connected via RSS or simply frequent visits for you and your friends. We'll be giving first dibs to those who become friends of the blog.
3. We want to make the final note - we will make every attempt to respond to all comments on the blogs, but a few ground rules - spirited debate = good; being an asshole or disrespectful language/behavior = banned from the blog (i.e. we'll just delete your comments and act as if you didn't say anything).

So, let's embrace this year of more interaction and hopefully higher heights for the 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks!!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Philips Insider - September

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Contact Will Stephens at 404 878-3782.



Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hawks All Time Top 5?

Here's a link to Chris Webber's (shout out to C-Webb on last week's nuptials - looks like that's the end of crazy, stupid pool parties out at your spot :)...ah, the memories) TOP 5 All Time Hawks:

You can watch his take here, but the quick answers are below:

C - Mutumbo
PF - Rasheed Wallace (WTF?!? - he did start with Kevin Willis though)
SF - Nique
SG - Steve Smith (though he started with Joe Johnson)
PG - Mookie Blaylock (though he gave a shout to Pistol Pete)
Sixth Man - Spud Webb

Now, I would take exception with a few of them. Only Nique is a lock...
At Center - what about Tree Rollins, what about Moses Malone?
At Power Forward - Not sure if Bob Petit was a PF or C, but he's gotta be in there
SG - I think Lou Hudson was a SG, so if so - he's gotta be mentioned. And I'll say that Steve Smith gets my nod over Joe Johnson until Joe can help the Hawks win over 50 games and a few more playoff runs
PG - Doc Rivers hands down...i loved Mookie, but he ain't Doc.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Sentiments Loosely

Here's a link to a team preview (thanks Hoopinion!) that mirrors much (though not all) of what I've been saying about the Hawks all offseason and recently about Mike Bibby. When you have started Ty Lue, Anthony Johnson, Royal Ivey, etc - having Bibby feels like a leader par excellence, but to take the NEXT step...it's not really all that.

See what the link has to say on it...http://www.tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=290046

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hope

Ramon Sessions signs for 4 years, $16M for the Timberwolves. I am only posting this, so that I have something to reference when either a) Mike Bibby is a situational player or worse for the Hawks in year 2 or year 3 of his current contract at $6M/yr or b) Jeff Teague turns out to either not be useful or simply unable to find great utility as a point guard.

Saving 2M for a younger point guard who is on the upswing in his career would seem to be a home run for the Atlanta Spirit, plus it would allow for a lil' DeJaun Blair rebounding. All that and Joe Smith would have made my offseason...but instead we get the gang, Joe Smith, and Jason Collins! Oh well...I surely hope I'm completely wrong about Teague and Bibby (or for that matter, that Ramon Sessions as a true point guard would do wonders for the balance of this offense b/c you couldn't rely on outside shooting to win games).

Bibby and Teague, you're on the clock....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Player Hopes - Al Horford, you're up

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?