On the precipice of the Annual Season Preview and an attempt to find the fire to write about a team that has lost 95% of the buzz and sizzle that we all had this time last year, we provide a few nuggets from the mind of the HS8T braintrust.
Looking at last year's Hawks/Magic preseason game - it's eerie how similar they were. We were blown out, we looked listless on both ends of the court, and we didn't say anything afterward that really explained it other than - it's the preseason (which could be a good enough explanation).
That said - here's my thoughts so far this preseason:
- Keeping the core as a strategy should allow for a new system to take hold easier than not, right?
- Larry Drew has not given us any reason to believe that he's the answer to our leadership and motivation issues.
- Larry Drew should be given until at least midseason before we determine whether the defensive and offensive schemes are going to help this team become more competitive come playoff time.
- Waiting for anyone (front office, coaches, players, fans) to explain how a team that stood pat is going to become better than teams who were better than us and managed to make additions. This seems to be the reason for the lack of buzz.
- Last season, there were offseason and preseason predictions from the team. This year, there have not been any announcements of the expectations for this team from the team. This, to me, says everything about how everyone in the Hawks organization feels about this team (i.e. it's better to not say - yes, we will compete, but we don't expect to contend for the division, the conference, or the title and we don't have a roadmap for how that is going to happen.) Alert me to the first time someone says - yes, our team's goal is to win the NBA title.
- Losing to the Magic by 29 points was entirely predictable.
- It won't be the worst thing for Jamal Crawford to make hay about his contract..all the way up until the point where the team decides to re-up on his contract.
- Jeff Teague is not going to earn the starting position at this rate and I still believe that if he's not going to be the starter on game 1 (unless health is the issue) - this team should subtract 5 games and any shot at winning a 1st round playoff series.
- Finally, Josh is still shooting jump shots.
Also, I did see a note from Jeff Van Gundy about what Mike Woodson did so wrong that he didn't keep his job. Mr. Van Gundy, have you been watching this team? Listen, you make a compelling point about the talent deficit between the Hawks and the elite teams in the league, but PLEASE stop using the tired - in 2005, we won 13 games and now, we're winning 53 reasoning. A bunch of young guys SHOULD win 13 games. Over 5 seasons, you SHOULD win more games. A guy making 20M a year should bring you from a miserable total to different level. So, yes - we got better, but let's not overrate the job done from the coaching position and why is it so hard to conceive that if you have an opportunity to get rid of Maurice Evans for someone who is better than you do it. Same for coaches...if you have a guy who is decent, but have a chance to get someone better than decent to match a team that you think is better than decent, then you do so. Simple as that...