For a number of years, the Hawks were unquestionably the best team in the state of Georgia. While the Braves and Falcons were both good in the late 2000s and early 2010s, neither could seem to win in the playoffs. On the collegiate level (although neither are my team, I’ll bring them up), Georgia has made it to the SEC Championship twice and Georgia Tech made it to the ACC Championship once. In all these cases the Georgia-based team failed to advance.
The Hawks, though, have many times made it to the second round in the past decade. We’ve even been to the Eastern Conference Finals. While none of those seasons resulted in a NBA Championship, they were a great time to be a Hawks fan. And it wasn’t as though we were more than a piece or two away. But those days seem to be over.
The Falcons just made it to the Super Bowl and just upgraded their defensive line with the addition of Dontari Poe. Many believe that the Braves will be good again in the not too distant future because of one of the best farm systems in MLB. With expected upgrades to Georgia’s roster and GA. Tech having finished well above .500 for two of their last three seasons, they may be on the rise.
The Hawks? They look awful. Our shooting efficiency and ball security have been jokes all season long! We can’t hit the broad side of barn and never lock the door to the ball as one of our players dribbles it. For awhile, we played well by shutting down opposing offenses. But now they’ve figured out our greatest weakness: the 3-point line. This was a problem last season, particularly during Cleveland’s second round sweep of us, but now everyone and their mother is doing it.
As a result, this team is 5-10 since the All-Star Break. If there are any critical adjustments to be made, they haven’t been made yet; we’ve lost 5 straight. We’re currently clinging to a playoff seed for dear life. At least we don’t have much time to blow it. Not that it really matters. They’re ain’t no other playoff team we can beat at our current level of play. Call me a bad fan if you want. At some point you’ve got to admit that your team is melting down at the worst time.
What’s gone wrong? It’s no real mystery. Demarre Carroll is in Toronto. Al Horford is in Boston. Jeff Teague is in Indiana. Kyle Korver is in Cleveland. Three of these four teams have high seeds as of now.
Taurean Prince is a young forward who’s showing flashes of greatness but isn’t there just yet. Dennis Schroder, though, has pretty much confirmed that he’s not the guy you want as your starting point guard. Then there’s Dwight Howard. While this master of rebounds is definitely our second best player, his lackluster offensive play and tendency to commit fouls probably mean that he’s a net downgrade from Horford.
This team is in something of a rebuild. We did some trading that got us some future draft picks. That means that this season and probably next season are looking to be disappointments. We just don’t have the talent right now.
And if the draft picks don’t pan out, things will not be getting better for some time for the Hawks.