Atlanta Hawks prospects for 09-10

The Atlanta Hawks were a good team in the 08-09 season. The Hawks were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers; this would suggest that the Hawks have not yet made the jump to one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks finished with a 47-35 record season and defeated the Miami Heat in the first round in 7 games. The 2008 playoffs against the Boston Celtics showed that the Atlanta Hawks were on the rise and should contend for the Eastern Conference Championship in the near future.

The Hawks improved from their previous season; many feel the Hawks took a step back in ’09. Failing to win 50 games in the Eastern Conference isn’t very impressive to many. If a team is a serious playoff threat, they must win 50 games.

Joe Johnson is, while he is a very good player, he needs to be in the same sentence as Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Dwight Howard as one of the best players in the game if the Hawks hope to do anything this season. Joe Johnson averaged 22 points per game – Johnson needs to be more aggressive and average 24-25 points per game because the Hawks have point droughts.

When you can’t score, you have to keep the other team from scoring, the Hawks’ defense needs to improve because their opponents’ average for the season was 97 points per game – championship-quality teams don’t give up as many points.

The Eastern Conference just got stronger with the acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal from the Cleveland Cavaliers. How will the Hawks stop Shaq? That remains to be seen. The Hawks could be a playoff team again, but the chances of them reaching the Eastern Conference Finals with their current team are doubtful.

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