Okay, I understand it’s only been two games and it’s against two relatively weak opponents, but if you’re a Hawks fan that has watched this team closely over the years, there seems to be something a bit different about this team this season. I certainly understand those of you who want to hold out on any judgement, because in the past this Hawks team has shown as great as they can look, they can look that much worse. But from what I’ve seen, this team just has a different feel than past teams.
According to my count, the Hawks only had three 20+ point victories, five 18+ point victories and zero 30+ point victories last season. This season, two games in, one 30+ point and one 18+ victory. I point this out because even though I understand it’s only been two games, the way the Hawks went out and dominated both games should be recognized. Especially coming from a team that for years has been notorious for playing down to competition. So again, I know it’s early but from the small sample size that we have (only thing we have to go off of) the Hawks seems to have a different mentality than past years. Maybe it’s the newly acquired veteran leadership?
- Remember when everybody was saying “T-Mac! That’s all we can get, T-Mac?! Hawks Management sucks!” Well through two games, T-Mac doesn’t look like a bad pick up at all, especially at the vet minimum. T-Mac is averaging 11.5 points and 3 rebs and even though he doesn’t look like the T-Mac of old, he looks to have a lot of game still left. He’s certainly no Jamal, but if he can give the Hawks a solid 12-13 a game off the bench he will be a steal at the price that the Hawks are paying him.
- Remember the 2nd pick of the 2005 draft? That guy that got picked before Chris Paul and Deron Williams? (Maybe I should have left that part out…) Well, that guy (Marvin Williams) through two games, looks like a completely different player than we have seen the last two years. Marv-O is sitting at 15.5 points and 8.5 rebs a game and doing exactly what the Hawks need him to do, hit open shots and rebound. He has long been the guy, along with Smoove, that we say “man if he can just get it together he can help this team turn that corner”, and so far he’s done that. Maybe after that back surgery, he will finally put it all together.
- Also, can the bench get some love? When was the last time the Hawks had a bench perform as a WHOLE like this bench has in these first two games? I’ve always said nobody will be able to single handily replace Jamal, which is plain logic since there’s only 4 or 5 legit 6th men in the entire league (Two of them are in Dallas), but a team can replace the kind of production Jamal gave by a combined effort of new players. So far, this bench as a whole has done that. And I know LD is happy, he (finally) has the tools, especially once Kirk Hinrich returns, to have a solid bench.
- Defensive intensity! I remember Larry Drew preaching all last year about changing the defensive mentality of this team. During these first two games, for the first time I can remember, we have actually seen a consistent effort on defense by EVERYBODY. In my opinion there is no player on this team that is a liability defensively. Good news for LD, when you have a team full of solid defenders there is so much more you can do in terms of defensive schemes, and I think LD finally has the horses to put in all the different schemes to make this Hawks team very good defensively.
Now I know this is a small sample size, but it’s hard for me not to be optimistic right, because all I’ve seen is just plain good basketball. And to think some experts had this team not making the playoffs!
Tags: Atlanta Hawks