What a difference a year makes. You know this is the worst sports time of the year, (I’ve blogged about it before), but what a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time the Atlanta Hawks were the talk of the NBA world. We’d just come off a month where we’d won 19 straight games, and had four All-Stars and our coach in the All-Star game. The sky was the limit for this team.
Then we ran into the Cavs in the Playoffs (who eventually ran into the Warriors), and it all started to crumble. During the off-season, we lost Demarre Carrol, the heart and soul of our squad, to Toronto. We signed that bum ass Tiago Splitter, who’s been a walking injury all year and is now out for the rest of the season. We made the decision to become “The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club” and we started wearing these absolutely awful jerseys. Whoever designed and approved that garbage should be fired. Neon Yellow?!? Puke City.
The Hawks play a team-oriented style of ball with no real “superstars” and the knock on our team has been that we don’t have a “go-to guy” down the stretch, when the game is on the line. I used to think that wasn’t a problem because we had 4 sold weapons that could beat you from anywhere on the court, but that’s just not the case. Jeff Teague is not clutch. Al Horford is not clutch. Paul Millsap is not cluth. Kyle Korver- he may be clutch, but he can’t create his own shot. This has become very apparent in watching games this season. It’s brutal to know that if the Hawks are in a close game, they aren’t winning it. The Hawks are 2-8 in games decided by less than 5 points this year. Those two wins came in the first three games of the year, so the Hawks haven’t won a close game (decided by less than 5 points) since Early November. Awful. At the All-Star break, they’re currently sitting in 5th place in the East, and only 3 games outside of being out of the playoff picture entirely.
I Tweet a lot during Hawks games, and these tweets tell the story of how the season has gone so far. Every night it seems like the same old song and dance…(Notice the dates of these Tweets below)
This season has been brutal to follow, because the play just isn’t good. Al Horford and Paul Millsap are launching more 3’s with less accuracy (I get infuriated watching them do this game in and game out), Kyle Korver has clearly lost a step, and Jeff Teague is just flat out not playing as well as he did in the previous two seasons. Nobody is improving at all.
The NBA trade Deadline is tomorrow 2/18 at 3pm. The Hawks are going to be the team to watch, because they’ve made it clear to the rest of the league that they are shopping thier two best players, (Jeff Teague and Al Horford), and I’m glad. We can’t compete with Cleveland or the Warriors, so I hope we blow up this roster and start from scratch.
Today and tomorrow will be very interesting to watch, because everyone’s eyes are going to be on Atlanta and what we decide to do. The Hawks management has been good about building a strong core of guys, but it’s just not working out, so I’d be very surprised if we don’t make a big move (or multiple moves) by tomorrow afternoon.
I’d love to see the Hawks land one of the two big names on the market- in Dwight Howard or Kevin Love. We need to shake things up, because this roster clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Such is the life of an ATL sports fan.