Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hawks Check In: End of Season Review

{We dedicate this blog to the brilliant Hawk lovin' service of the big homie, Drew, on his blog retirement. Congrats on your new endeavors and best wishes to you and our friend, Mike Bibby. :) }

Unlike my friends at Hoopinion & Peachtree Hoops, I really lost all desire to do a end of year review because it really would be a futile attempt to come up with ways to say what was good about the year and all my readers should know by now that the regular season is just a practice for the proving grounds of the postseason.

Of course, we all know that I believed that we never addressed the main issues from 2008-09's postseason and so it was no surprise that we essentially performed the same (or worse if you consider that it was status quo for the team) in this year's postseason, so I'm going to do a quick recap of the season and then move on to a repeat of my concern for this offseason. If you want real recaps and deep analysis, see our friends linked above.

Here we go...
The Team - A better version of last season's play. Hot start...teams caught up...players began to regress. Team fell apart by postseason. Summing it up - we are (even without Joe) talented enough to get a playoff spot. Doing anything championship worthy is what we have yet to prove we can do.

The Players - Josh Smith, Al Horford improved...Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, Zaza Pachulia, Maurice Evans all did the same things they normally did....Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby regressed...Jeff Teague, Randolph Morris didn't play enough to know if improvement is possible...Mario West, Joe Smith, and Jason Collins hopefully provided some locker room benefit because they were completely useless on the court.

The Coaching - Been saying this for years...despite all the respect we have for Hoopinion, there's no belief that we actually were doing any coaching that leads to a title. Putting together a game plan is only useful if the other team doesn't counter it and if there's variation to said game plan. At the end of the day, this team and its players haven't really been coached with regard to strengths and weaknesses since Mike Woodson came to town. And therefore, the coach was fired. Sounds like the Hawks were more than fair to keep him and to fire him...which leads me to

THE THING I'M WORRIED ABOUT THIS OFFSEASON...

Last season it was the fact that we didn't have good player leadership, toughness, rebounding, or a commitment to defense to go with all that bad coaching. Now, I'm just concerned that we aren't focused on finding a coach. The fact that we've interviewed one prospect with no experience, 2 that used to work for you (including one that I've NEVER heard of before), and a legitimate enigma (seemingly great prospect with the best coaching record around, but yet unemployed through 2 NBA seasons where turnover has occurred...calls things into question). I interview more people for business analyst roles and internships than GM Sund has for maybe the most important hire of his tenure.

So, I just say again - GM Sund, you are on the clock. Last offseason was not a success. This offseason will hinge on your decision making on the coach and how you deal with Joe Johnson. In fact, the clock is ticking louder...

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