Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Optimism About the Hawks

Couple days late on this but Rob Mahoney of the New York Times' Off the Ball Blog has joined the chorus of those who are optimistic about what the Hawks can accomplish without Joe Johnson. Said Mahoney:

"Much of Johnson’s value in Atlanta came from his ability to manufacture shots, but Ferry and the Hawks have already done quite well to offset their deficit in that regard. Not only will Jeff Teague, Josh Smith, and Al Horford—all very skilled creators in their own way—surely play more pivotal roles in controlling the offense going forward, but Atlanta has also signed a player capable of fulfilling much of Johnson’s previous shot-creating duties at just a fraction of the salary. Former Sixer Lou Williams is often demerited for his imperfections as a shoot-first guard, but with the Hawks he’ll be a tremendously valuable scoring option and a functional bridge between the starters and reserves."

I'm honestly unsure why Williams would be receive demerits for shooting first in a Philadelphia offense that screamed for him to shoot as much as possible. The AJC's Michael Cunningham also had a nice blog post yesterday in which Williams is quoted saying all the right things about fitting in as a Hawk. When Williams says he is a team player, I believe him, and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when he maintains his offensive production without derailing the offense the way Johnson's methodical isolations did.

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