Atlanta- A Team Not to Overlook

Atlanta is right on the tail end of some of the best teams in the league. With a staggering record of 33-18, they have shown they can hang with other championship caliber teams. Atlanta continues to improve as a team each year and will look to build even more throughout the 2010-2011 season.

Though shy of a superstar, the Atlanta Hawks really remind me of the 2003-3004 Pistons. Similar to the Pistons team of Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince, Atlanta seems to really emulate after them. Atlanta has many fine players which really piece together to make a great team.

Like Billups, Joe Johnson is the leader of this team. With his much experience and profound ability to score he has established a strong base for the Atlanta Hawks. Complementing his talents are a few other great players such as Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford. Now, with Al Horford transitioning out of the beginning stages of his careers he is now playing an elemental role on the Hawks. Bound to make his first All-star appearance, Horford is averaging 16.2 points per game along with a monstrous 9.9 rebounds per game as well as preforming solid in every other category. In addition, Josh Smith is another key player. He is similar to Ben Wallace in a way for they both have outstanding defense. Smith averages almost 2 blocks per game and has a per of 19.07. Along with his great defense Smith has the ability to dish out assists and average 16.3 points per game. Lastly, I would compare Jamal Crawford to Richard Hamilton. Their games both consist of a strong offense, relying primarily on their jump shots.

As you can see, talent is built all around the Atlanta Hawks. And this is going to separate them from most playoff teams. For example, if you look back at last year, the Cavs lost to the Celtics in the playoffs because when Lebron couldn’t find his game he had no teammates that could step up and lead them past the opposition. However, because Atlanta is so well balanced they will never have to worry about this problem. As long as the Hawks work cohesively and find the right guy the Hawks will succeed.

Bottom Line- The Hawks will finish with a record of 46-36 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won a big playoff game or two.

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