Our Friend William Sevidal from the Hawks blog Soaring Down South joins us to answer 3 pressing questions about the Hawks, and tonight’s match-up against the New York Knicks.
1) The Hawks were dealt a huge blow early on in the season when Al Horford got hurt. How has this team managed to be so successful without him?
Well, “successful” is a word I’ll use loosely. Yes, they are 12-9 since Al Horford went down, but most of those wins came against teams with losing records. Since Horford went out, they are 9-1 against teams with losing records and only 3-8 against teams with winning records. But to get back to the question, Josh Smith has really carried this Atlanta Hawks team since Al Horford went down. That’s why it bothers me so much that he’s not an All-star, because if there is one Hawks player that deserves it, it’s Josh Smith. There aren’t many forwards in the East that are doing more than him right now.
2) With Joe Johnson apparently a no-go, which player do you expect to step up against the Knicks?
Josh Smith. He’s been the player that the Hawks have been asking to carry the load since Al Horford went down, and with Joe Johnson now out for the game too, you can bet that Josh Smith is feeling that he has to step up even more now. Will he step up and carry the entire team to a win? That’s up in the air. I can’t think of many games that Josh Smith has single-handedly carry the Hawks to a win.
If I had to choose another player that has a possibility of having a good game, it’s Jeff Teague. Teague has shown at times, when he’s playing aggressive, that he can be a pretty a good scorer. Also, I know Jeremy Lin is pretty quick himself, but Jeff Teague should be able to get by “Super Lin-tendo” pretty easily tonight. As you and your readers know, Jeremy Lin isn’t exactly a top tier defensive player.
3) What is the biggest key to tonight’s game for the Hawks?
Ball movement. The Hawks don’t have an active go-to player on the roster right now (since Joe Johnson is out). Josh Smith can be a good scorer, but he’s not someone that I can say is a go-to player. The team needs to take the offensive approach of a Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs team tonight. Neither the Spurs or Nuggets have a go-to player, but they play well offensively because they move the ball around and get contribution from many different players. There isn’t a Kobe Bryant or a Kevin Durant or a Dirk Nowitzki on this team right now….the Hawks will really hurt themselves if they try to play an offense like they have a great scorer.
Also check out my portion of the Q & A by clicking here.