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Shock Comes to Harlem 2010 094
 
 

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BIG HAT NO CATTLE ------> ATLANTA HAWKS PDF Print E-mail

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Permanently grounded?
A perennial loser since the end of the Dominique Wilkins era, the new Atlanta Hawks have played an exciting brand of basketball and developed a huge following around the country over the past three years.  The Hawks have generated a lot of buzz with high draft choices (Marvin Williams, Al Horford, Josh Smith) and high profile acquisitions through free agency (Jamaal Crawford, Joe Johnson).  With their fastbreaking style of play, moxie and the human highlight reel in Smith, the Hawks have consistently graced Sportcenter's nightly highlights and have been the team that other perennial leaders would rather avoid playing.  They even made me a fan when they took the 2008 NBA Champions, Boston Celtics, to a seven game series that really could have gone either way.  Of all the opponents the Celtics faced that year, Atlanta actually gave the Celtics their toughest challenge, albeit in an underdog role.  The league and the rest of the country were salivating to see the Hawks mature and realize the promise they showed in the first round series loss to the Celtics.

However, in 2009 they were swept 4-0 in the second round of the play-offs by the Cavaliers in what I thought was a poor effort.  They were bullied and intimidated by a Cavaliers team which simply played hard and played with a purpose while the Hawks merely showed up. 

Their big guns, Horton, Smith, Johnson and Williams seemed to cower under the great expectations bestowed upon them.  And this year, they let a depleted Milwaukee team take them to seven games and followed that up by getting swept 4-0 in the second round by Orlando.  After game two of the series in which Atlanta simply went one-on-one and exhibited playground basketball on offense and showed no intensity on defense, I couldn't bear to watch it anymore.  Again, they appeared to simply show up and hope they would win.  Simply put, Atlanta has neither lived up to the promise shown in the 2008 play-offs, nor has its key players earned their paychecks or the notoriety the media has bestowed upon them.  Unfortunately, coach Mike Woodson will most likely bear the brunt of their play-off underperformance with his job.  For more on Big Hat . . . No Cattle go to http://clicky.me/Shockims .
 

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