Jeff Clark’s Celticsblog NBA previews keep rolling along.
Keep ‘em moving. The season is fast approaching. The Hawks are a below the radar team that could cause big trouble with better focus, a little more backbone, and an understanding that they belong. If discipline ratchets up two notches, they become a team you don’t want to face. In fact, it was injuries that took their toll in the playoffs. This year… playoffs talk, excuses walk.
Zaza is what he is and that is awesome. And by awesome, I mean an unathletic, hustling, rebounding, traveling, get under your skin defense, barely can dunk Eastern European machine. Bibby can still stroke it from outside, provide leadership from inside the locker room, and mentor Jeff Teague on his way out. Marvin just improves every year. He may be past that “big jump” year, but he is entering the prime of his career and the Hawks have front row seats at a very reasonable price.
In that, Joe Johnson is the personification of this team’s identity, and also its must likely villain. Joe is a borderline all-star who hangs more on the border of being included. He is a guy that is consistent on both ends of the court, and for an organization that desperately needed anything in the same ballpark as consistent, fans and media give him rightful praise and recognition for leading them out of the dredges of the league. Joe will beat you. He can drop a quiet 35 with the best in the league. But he is not a super star. He needs teammates. A Joe Johnson team will not make the eastern conference finals. A Joe Johnson led team could.
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