Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

#14 Atlanta Hawks

Essay #2 in the series. Sorry for the delay in writing but it’s hard to build up a head of steam over the Hawks and I’ve been busy. So lets look at the train wreck that is the Atlanta Hawks.

Last Year in Review
Like the Knicks, the Hawks are an institutional mess. Their multi-headed ownership group is in court suing each other, leaving Billy Knight in charge of things as VP and GM. Big mistake, he is one of the two most incompetent GMs in the game along with Philly GM Billy King. Under his watch he has carefully put together a roster made of nothing but 6’8” swingmen and led by undistinguished coaches.

I looked it up because I didn't know, the head coach is named Mike Woodson who is the tenth Atlanta coach. In his first year he led the team to 13 wins. Last year he doubled that to 26 and were last in the Southeast.

The facts about last year:
Record: 26-56, missed playoffs, last in Southeast Div.

Scoring 97.2 vs. 102.0 ppg
FG%: 45.35% vs. 47.80%
3 pt shooting: 424/1154 .367 vs. 444/1205 .368
Rebounds 40.3 vs. 40.4
Assists 19.8 vs. 20.6
Steals 7.16 vs. 7.28
Blocks 4.80 vs. 5.15
Turnovers 15.1 vs. 14.2

Atlanta is consistently a little worse in every statistical category. They need to improve everywhere but particularly at PG and C (positions usually not played by 6'8" guys.)

Best players last year were:
Johnson 20.2 pts, 6.5 apg, 1.26 spg
Harrington 18.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg 3.1apg
Pachula 11.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg
Josh Smith 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Tye Lue 11.0 ppg, 3.1 apg
Josh Childress 10.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
M. Williams 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg

2006/2007 Prospects
At least they are young and athletic and have tons of cap space. Marvin Williams just turned 20 and could turn out to be a star. He’ll still need a PG to feed him and the best they could do was sign Speedy Claxton. (Let me take a moment to comment on Tyronn Lue. I blame him personally for the Magic falling apart 3 years ago. He sucks. Slow, un-athletic and no discernable playmaking skills absolutely killed the Magic and tore the heart out of T-Mac. Every time I see Lue play I think of how awful a GM John Gabriel was. And yes, he looks like he belongs in the WNBA.)

They needed a PG, a C and toughness. New players include Speedy Claxton who will start in place of Lue, Shelden Williams who is probably not ready to play much of a role this year, and Lorenzen Wright to back up Zaza at C. They gave away their 2nd best player, Al Harrington for cap space. Apparently their goal will be to sign someone like Al Harrington to a free agent contract next summer.

With Harrington given away for free, Williams and the Josh’s will get more minutes. With luck they will improve enough that they will have an Al Harrington type year next year.

Games vs. Magic
4 games. Last year 2-2 with home teams winning all games


Nov 5 @ATL
Nov 25 home
Jan 26 home
Jan 29 @ATL

Odds and Ends

82games.com says Atlanta earned $34.0 million of their salaries last year and calculates their best players are Johnson, Childress, Pachulia, and Williams.

Mike Woodson is 39-125 in his two year career.

Josh Childress shot 55% from the field and 49% from 3 point range but only average 10 ppg in 30 minutes of play. 9 other Hawks shot the ball more than Childress. (Way to distribute the ball Tyronn!)

Marvin Williams was MVP of the Rocky Mountain Review summer league.


Prediction:
26-32 wins, last in Southeast Div, miss playoffs.

3 Comments:

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Hahaha... You couldn't have said it any better in regards to Lue! That guy just sucks, period... And yes, he would be better off in the WNBA, although I think some of those chicks would abuse him. You can't forget the push that Doc Rivers made for that douche. Doc really wanted him, and he was the guy we brought in and the reason we didn't resign D Armstrong. You could say that was another "low point".

    I don't know what to think about this rumor, but it's not the first time I've read about it...

    FROM ESPN - "And the circumstances seem to be aligned for Carter to bolt. A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., and a resident of Orlando's ritzy Isleworth community in the offseason, Carter might want to get closer to home when he becomes a free agent. And it just so happens that the Magic will have the cap space (approximately $13 million) and opening (no proven shooting guard) to offer Carter next July. And playing alongside rising youngsters Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson might make the option even more appealing."

    ESPN's Marc Stein did his own season preview for all teams East and West if anyone is interested in taking a look.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=2586126

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=2588267

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Only 3 assists per game for Lue last season... yeah, that is pretty sorry for a pt guard. Claxton will be a big improvement at that position for them.

    I'm impressed with how nicely former Magic player Zaza Pachulia is developing... he had several double doubles last year and is only 22-23 years old.

    The Hawks do have cap space now for next off-season, but I wonder how many players would be interested in signing with them if they have another poor season.

     
  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Bad news for the Hawks: they finally get their PG in Speedy Claxton, and now Speed will miss up to six weeks with a broken bone in his left hand. Claxton broke the hand during a workout in Philly, where he lives in the offseason …

     

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