Season’s over! The Atlanta Hawks lose to the Washington Wizards in six games. The reason is John Wall. While we have often contained him before, Wall simply went off on us throughout this series. I really don’t think the Wizards can go all the way since Boston and Cleveland aren’t teams that lack both depth and a superstar, but you have to be impressed by Wall.
Still, we could have won this series if we could only have been able to hold onto the ball and hit the broad side of a barn. Of course, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Turnovers and bad shooting have been the norm for this team all season long.
The truth is that in March, I would’ve seen this coming a mile away! That was period when these turnovers and missed shots got us blown out of home court by the Nets! But after the last several games when we got the offense going enough to Win over the Celtics, crush the rival Hornets, and twice beat the Cavs. But this surge did not last into the playoffs.
My verdict? This was a rough season. Dwight Howard is not superstar we’ve been looking for, what can we say? And honestly, he’s a downgrade from Al Horford. The fouls and lack of offensive production from him had a lot to do with our problems. So we were eliminated in the first round.
Sure, it’s a 43-win season, but if you look at the dreadful state of the Eastern Conference (no eastern team with at least 55 wins, while the West has 3 that reached that mark), how much this team fluctuated between good and bad from start to finish, and most importantly, that we couldn’t keep our late momentum going, this may be one time when we are not what our record says we are.
Of course, part of this is the growing pain of a rebuild. We made some trades for future draft picks at the deadline. I mean years into the future. Which is just as well. I can see the team missing the playoffs next season. How much Dennis Schroder and Taurean Prince continue to improve will be interesting to me. Otherwise, there’s not much promise for the immediate future.
Further down the road? If we draft well and get Paul Millsap resigned, those picks we traded for could pay off. But there’s a limit to how much faith you can put in a front office that let the Hawks go from great to below average in two years’ time.
No matter what, I am True to Atlanta!