Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More on the Hawks

Mark Bradley says the Williams pick could work out, but that the Hawks needed a 1 or a 5 and made a mistake not to get that. I, in a move pundits are calling "predictable", do not agree.

Firstly, the notion of a traditional center is antiquated. Look, I love bruising 7-footers who can dunk with their eyebrows and eat concreit. Perhaps you haven't noticed - there's just not many of those guys around. What you do need, however, is a physical inside presence who must, if nothing else, play defense and rebound. See the former world champs, the Detroit Pistons. Wallace is a 4. And Wallace, when he's afro'd in any case, is as fearsome as anyone we've seen as some time when he patrols the paint. He rebounds. He blocks shots. He changes offenses. And he even has some offensive ability. To me, the real question is "did the 2005 NBA draft feature any players like that?"

I didn't see any. Bogut looked too easy to push around in the NCAA tournament to me. Also, all of his draft highlights looked like they were in slow-motion, except I don't think that they were. He'll probably be a good pro and I'm probably wrong in questioning that he will be. I'm glad the Hawks don't have him though. There were some noted defenders in the draft, but I don't see any of them excelling at the next level in that area. Perhaps Ike Digou will. Perhaps Fry will toughen up and do so. But perhaps they won't.

Now we absolutely, postively, no question about it need a 1. However, that doesn't mean he have to draft one. See, one things the Hawks need more than a 5, or a 1, or a 63.7 is talent. The Hawks were better than their record indicated last year (no, really!). I think I read a stat claiming 43 of their losses were by 10 points or less. And they played good at times down the stretch - usually failing to do it for four straight quarters. Does anyone actually think "well, they're close on the talent front, they should take a 1 or a 5 no matter what"? I don't.

Also, I think that the roster is not set in stone. Somebody may get traded sooner rather than later. If we can a package Harrington for a good point guard, fantastic. If we can package him for anything useful, I'll be just as happy. Nothing against Harrington, but I'm not crazy about him.

The Hawks aren't as forward-jammed as some think. Childress - can we please stop calling the man 6-8? - is really a 2 I think. Though he's not there yet - he needs a consistent 18-20 footer to pull that off. He'll probably see some forward minutes, but I think as is the position is primarily shred by 3 players for 2 spots. Not too bad.

I don't think Stoudamire is in any way qualified to run the point, nor should he be expected too. I hope the Hawks are wiser than that. Elkon is right to worry about his attitude (whenever he gets around to doing just that), but that was a better pick that some Croatian who will never make it.

I don't know if Williams will live up to that "potential", but I live the movie. We need a big time scorer. We may have gotten one.

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