If you ask me, the only reason the Atlanta Hawks are a playoff team is because they play in the Eastern conference. Or, as some might say, they’re a playoff team by default. It’s not as if they don’t have a pretty decent roster makeup from an ability standpoint with guys like Al Horford, Josh Smith, Devin Harris, and Kyle Korver. I just have a hard time trying to figure out at what point is the mentality going to coincide with the ability. Without the two coming together, falling short is usually the end result.
The Hawks are 15th in points scored (97.6/per), and 13th in points allowed (97.2/per) for the 2013 campaign. Who will they beat with those enigma-type numbers? Not many -if any- come playoff time.
Horford is the only player I can truly say is deserving of being on a contender. His production goes well beyond a box score -when not injured- and his intensity is there night in and night out. Consistent is the first word that comes to mind when I watch big Al play.
Smith, Korver, and Harris give me cause for concern going into the playoffs. Smith is one of those “talented” players’ who never really materialized into the player he should have because of his pouting. Loves to play out on the perimeter to shoot the three, but doesn’t seem to realize he would be better served -as would the Hawks- to start out on the interior and then go on the outside. Helping Al on the inside will help Atlanta’s chances for winning.
Korver is a spot-up shooter who would help the Hawks more if he could put the ball on the floor. Not being able to be shoot of the dribble makes him no different than Rashad Lewis – a career journeyman. What does it say about you as a player when the Bulls (who are in need of perimeter scoring) decide to let you go. Korver is most effective when being fed; one dimensional is definitely guardable. What happens when a team runs him off the three-point line?
Of the Hawk point guards, Harris is taller than Teague, but not smarter. Teague is more of a facilitator than Harris, but lacks the size to deal with big guards. Both however are defensive deficient. Harris plays too fast and out of control more times than I care to count. A better understanding of tempo would allow everyone else -especially Korver- to play within themselves and play better overall. The Hawks have to understand that Al cannot do it by himself on the inside if they are to have at least a fighting chance to advance.