Atlanta Hawks Are Sleeper Contenders
The Atlanta Hawks don't get much pub, but I think they are definitely sleepers to make it to the NBA Finals...I even feel they will beat out the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, for the SouthEast Divison Championship..They've improved each year..In 2008, when they first made the playoffs in a long time, they pushed the eventual champs, Boston Celtics, in a epic Game 7, with a healthy Kevin Garnett, and a lethal sixth man, in James Posey, unlike the Bulls who pushed the C's to Game 7, without a Garnett at all, and with no legit 6 man for the Celtics 2008-2009 squad....Then the Hawks followed that up, and by making it to the second round in the 2009 Playoffs...In 2010, I feel they can reach the Finals, if the team stays focused and gels enough...Former # 2 pick, Marvin Williams has improved every year he been in the league, once Josh Smith develops a consistent jumper his game will go to another level, Jamal Crawford is a auotmatic 15 or more points off the bench, Bibby is still clutch, Hortford holds it down in the middle defensively, Pachulia is the enforcer, Maurice Evans is the defensive spealist, and Joe Johnson of course is the Superstar...Unlike past years, the Hawks frontcourt is deep now, they now have Hortford, Zaza, Joe Smith, Randolph Morris, and their on the verge of signing 7'0 veteran center, Jason Collins, who has Finals experience with the Nets...Not to mention Marvin Williams and Josh Smith could play some 4 too, so the Hawks are the deepset they've been in years, in the front court, and their backcourt is lethal with Joe Johnson, Bibby, Crawford, Maurice Evans, and Jeff Teague...It's going to get real crunk in the "A"..lol
The Hawks are currently #4 in the Eastern Conference, my man Josh Smith will likely making his first All-Star appearance this year. Smith is Lebron without passing and 3 pt shooting.
Orlando and Boston would crush then
Cleveland already did. Washington would out run them and Toronto would out shoot them......
Atlanta>>>Washington/Toronto. As far as the other 3 we'll have to see. Marvin Williams and Al Horford were hurt against Cleveland. If everybody is 100% the series would have been a different story. Now you add in Teague and Crawford off the bench this team could be special.
I think they should Crawford the #1 option, and go-go-guy at the end of games and give Johnson the sidekick role
No, Crawford is a #2 option. He is a chuck who shoots too much. I remember when he was in Chicago and he had like 30-10 against A.I.
He is better right now as that off the bench scorer.
sleeper contenters? maybe a lock to get beat out in the 2nd round. Atlanta added Crawford as an additional scoring punch, but I honestly don't think Atlanta will get over the hump until they address their issue at center. They are wasting a potentially top 5 power forward in the NBA by playing him out of position. If they got a decent center especially one who could play some D, they would have a monster line up worthy of contenting for the East Title. Lets say for the sake of argument they get a defensive 2nd tier center like Okafor or Chandler
PF. Al Horford
SF. Josh Smith
SG. Joe Johnson
6th and 7th man- Marvin Williams/ Jamal Crawford
I think until they address their issues at center they will continue to be beat in the 2nd round by an eastern powerhouse
I agree with mikenike. Crawford will be their number one option on offense. That will be a great thing for their team. Joe Johnson is suited for a number #2 role. Even though Crawford isn't a franchise player, the guy has always had the scoring ability of that type of player. Crawford is a huge pickup. I also agree with joewolf. If they really want to get somewhere, then they need an actual center. Horford is a 4 and Josh Smith would become more of a mismatch at the 3 and more useful on defense. The thing about Horford is that I don't know if he will ever develop offensively on that team. There are not enough shots to go around and unlike most early picks, his team has had enough talent and is good enough that they don't have to rely on him much on that part of the court. I think he got the 5th or 6th most shots on the team last year, but led the team in field goal percentage.
Jamal Crawford wont be the Number 1 option, I promise you that. He isnt anywhere near the player Joe Johnson is. He can score at a ridiculous rate at times, but he is a selfish player, he doesnt defend, and offers next to nothing as a player outside of scoring. Joe Johnson offers everything as a wing player, except he isnt always agressive. And even that couldve been a tool to help the younger players develop with the ball in their hands more, instead of taking the Crawford route and jacking up shot after shot. Crawford is more likely to go for 15 pts on 2-12 from the field (and going to the free throw line for the rest of his points) than go for 30 pts on 10-22 from the field. Johnson is much more steady and wont ever shoot a team out of games like Crawford does. Crawford is best suited as a guy that comes off the pine as a 6th man to provide a scoring punch than a number 1 option offensively. He has shown that he isnt a winner when he gets the ball in his hands too much.
Crawford, is a way better scorer then Johnson is, and he is also a better playmaker, not to mention he is more clutch, and more of a leader.
He is not a better playmaker than Joe Johnson, he's far more turnover prone and how can you say he's a leader if he never has been to the playoffs as a number 1 option, while Joe Johnson has? Makes no sense. Crawford is a scorer, but he takes sooo many shots that if he didnt score at a ridiculous rate there would be a problem.
Ranks #36 in the NBA in Field-Goal Attempts Per 48 Minutes(19.79)
So he doesn't even take enough shot's to be considered a 1st option considering he was ranked 36, and there are less then 36 teans
He didnt take alot of shots last year for Golden State because they have alot of chuckers on their team look at his stats in his yrs in New York and tell me he didnt take alot of shots. And even check the "FG attempted" pace he was on at the beginning of last yr before he was traded to Golden State. Jamal Crawford takes alot of shots, and they are usually not good when he has the ball too much throughout the course of a game.