Quantcast Atlanta Hawks Preview: 2010-2011 Atlanta Hawks Basketball Preview


2010-2011 Atlanta Hawks Preview


2009-10 Record: 53-29, 3rd in Eastern Conference; lost in Conference Semifinals, 4-0, to Orlando

Head Coach: Larry Drew, 1st season

Key Additions: F Josh Powell

Key Losses: None

First Round Draft Pick: G Jordan Crawford

Second Round Draft Pick: SF Pape Sy

Aside from the head coaching position—Larry Drew has taken over that spot—and adding forward Josh Powell, the Hawks stayed pat this offseason. With five double-digit scorers returning, along with the always dependable Mike Bibby, it is hard to fault them too much.  Nonetheless, Atlanta needed to sign a big free agent to be able to compete with the teams it looked up at (and will look up at) in the Eastern Conference standings last season. That most certainly did not happen; instead, hope will rest with young guards Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford somehow overachieving and playing above their pay grades.

It was pure folly for the Hawks to shell out a king’s ransom – more than $120 million – to keep Joe Johnson, a shooting guard who blows hot and cold and who, more importantly, stunk up the joint in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Orlando. Atlanta is not viewed as a destination team in the NBA, so on a number of levels, the Hawks’ options were rather limited in the free-agent market. Then again, the conscious and intentional decision to re-sign Johnson for an ungodly sum of money will confine this team to middle-tier status in the East. A dynamic center is needed to complement power forward Al Horford. Moreover, the Hawks needed to find a gritty player who could instill some toughness and belief into a roster that flatly quit against Orlando. It’s true that Drew might command more respect in the sideline huddle than Woodson did, but the Hawks are in need of more resilient players who won’t fold the tent in the heat of postseason combat.

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By Matthew Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer

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