Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010-2011 Season Underway...Training Camp Style

My Friends, Family, & Haters....

Note: We actually may be running sales for Hawks tickets here this season, so STAY TUNED. If you ever wanted to save money and see your Hawks (and even get some free tickets) this is your place.  So, love or hate me - don't deprive yourself of savings to see our Atlanta Hawks.

We're back!!!!! Year 3 of HawkStr8Talk where we give our take on what pushes, provokes, and ails our fair Hawks. Another year of evolution.  Year 1 was about trying to figure out our lane in the Hawks Blogosphere. Year 2 was about trying to bypass the normal analysis of a game to game flow and simply put the game into the context of how the Hawks can win a title with or without the components at our disposal.

We did this while also giving details not found on most blogs - like...how well did the dance team do? What was the crowd like?  Did game operations go as planned?  What the hell is happening with ASG? And my favorite..interpreting what REALLY is and should be said by a championship team.

Of course, that last item is what gets us in the most trouble because it causes those who disagree to voice their opinions the most.  My blog war with Peachtree Hoops comes to mind when everyone seemed to think it was ludicrous that Jeff Teague should have been starting over Mike Bibby around the 3/5ths mark of last season.  We had a lot of debate about that, which brings us to GROUND RULE #1 - we can disagree and respect each other at the same time.  Some commentors were banned this offseason because they couldn't follow that simple rule.  So, be strong, be clear OR be neither, but stay focused on the point, not on trying to disrespect me or else - I'll be forced to thrash you.  Let's remember - Hawks fans come in all shapes and sizes.  My shape and size is - I love my Hawks and will cheer them at every juncture, but I don't cheer with blinders on.  

Anyone who knows me knows the following things:
  1. Josh Smith is my favorite Atlanta Hawk and I believe him to be the most talented player on the team. Josh Smith also is a bad jump shooter, has problems with authority (coaching and refereeing), & must make another leap in importance to this team in order for it to be a championship level team.
  2. Joe Johnson is a good NBA shooting guard and our best player (different from most talented).  It's also my belief that as long as he's our best player and considered a leader for this team, then the Hawks' ceiling is 2nd round playoffs at best.
  3. I forgive all Hawks players, staff, coaches, and employees of any of the things that occur that are subpar because I'm convinced that our ownership group has no idea what it takes to provide the structure for a championship to occur in this city, so put all complaints in context - ASG sucks and by extension, nothing anyone does is REALLY their fault.  
  4. That said, I'm going to complain about things such as GM Rick Sund not being able to bring any drafted players, undrafted players, and free agents that you could consider championship quality (or that could be developed into championship quality players - and yes, we love Jamal Crawford, but his defense makes him a part of the NOT championship quality group) despite any salary constraints. So, ASG has nothing to do (I hope) with not using draft picks that you trade for when you are at the same time signing Etan Thomas and Jason Collier to your roster.
  5. I'm going to complain if Jeff Teague is not starting and playing 30 minutes a game for the first half of the season (if he's stinking up the joint by then, we should be moving Jamal 'expiring contract' Crawford to get a real point guard.  Any desire to make Mike Bibby be our starting point guard again will be met with serious rebuke.
  6. Forget the offense - it's the defense that has kept the Hawks from being elite. As soon as we decide to spend time on that and determine that that's our ticket, then I'll shut up about it.
  7. I have developed a man-crush on the Oklahoma City Thunder...I'll try to keep it from getting in the way of what we're doing in talking about the Hawks and how badly we want them to win a title.  (Note to self: Do not LeBron the people. Do not LeBron the people...)
  8. Finally, you should know that I'll debate with you..up to a point. I go to almost every home game and mix my stats, post game comments, and what my eyeballs tell me to come up with an analysis.  If you don't like it, go to the 8 other sources who talk about the Hawks to find something you do like.  Or convince me that I'm wrong...either way, it's no skin off my back because it's just a blog.  One I love, but one that's not worth losing any sleep over either.
So, we'll get into what we think about the season (teaser - at this juncture, it sure feels like a 6th seed and a first round playoff loss) and how we can move ourselves to championship aspirations, but until then - welcome back...it's time for another fun ride.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Summer Report

There's nothing like getting the NBA.com's take on the Atlanta Hawks offseason take and it looks like Shaun Powell sees the offseason report as I do, though I'm not sure that this was done to scale.

So, with a few As (Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, & Miami) and a few Ds (Golden State, Cleveland, & Toronto), it looks like the Atlanta Hawks fell on the downside of this offseason's haul btw Average and Above Average, so maybe that's quasi-Above Average. Interestingly enough, there's nothing in the report card that gives any impression that backhanded compliments aside - there was an improvement. So, we're guessing the 'strength' of signing Joe Johnson to the biggest contract of the offseason was where the basis of this lies. Laughing mention of Josh Powell, no mention of Pape Sy, and more skepticism of the coaching decisions.

One quick note for our commentors - we are now moderating the comment postings. Since we seem to have commentors who can't control their use of the English language to respectful posts, we've resorted to controlling it for them, so sorry if the posts don't get up in real time any longer, but it was a necessary evil. I personally wouldn't read or comment on things that I can't control myself to discuss rationally and respectfully, but that's just me. Since everyone's not like me :), moderated posts it is...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vacation Breeds...Sameness

So, let's see here...I took a break from blogging for a few weeks only to be inspired by:

  • A Jason Collins Signing
  • Jamal Crawford's trade demands
  • An Etan Thomas Signing
Yep, these are my Atlanta Hawks. Let's recap the offseason again...

  • Sign Joe Johnson to a bigger contract than LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, or Chris Bosh
  • Hire Mike Woodson's Assistant
  • Drafting another shooting guard and some dude no one knew about from France
  • Re-signing our 3rd string center
  • Re-signing another big man who was as uninspiring as Jason Collins was when we signed him
  • Jamal Crawford decides that he wants some security in Atlanta or wants to be traded.
Now, if I recall, we lost in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs by the highest margin in the HISTORY of the NBA and our best player addition is a rookie at the position where we have the most depth (i.e. our best player added probably won't play unless we trade Jamal Crawford). I'm sure that my blog haters will call me a pessimist, but is there anything to be optimistic about in this offseason that makes me think that we won't be looking at a first round playoff loss in May of 2011?

Thank goodness for fantasy football...back to my research...