HAWKS OFFSEASON REVIEW: PART 4

This is the 4th installment to my 5 part series on the offseason of the Atlanta Hawks. Since the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Hawks Front Office has had a full plate of question marks on their table that need to be answered: will head coach Mike Woodson be back next season, will they resign Joe Johnson, will Josh Childress come back from Greece, will Marvin Williams or Mike Bibby be moved to upgrade at the 3 or 1, will they finally get a 7 foot Center to place next to the undersized Al Horford. We are near the end of the NBA 2010 – 2011 Offseason with most of these questions fully answered. In this 5 part series, I will deliver a full answer and explanation to each of these questions.

4. Will Marvin Williams or Mike Bibby be moved to upgrade at the 3 or 1?

Highly unlikely. Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby have been the weak points in the starting lineup compared to others. Marvin Williams, #2 Draft Pick in 2005, has not lived up to his expectations. Last years numbers per game were below his career average (10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists) while playing the same minutes (30.1 mpg). Every other year he has had injury problems. In 2006-2007, he missed 18 games on account of a fractured hand and lower back spasms. In 2008-2009, he missed 16 games due to a lower back injury. Marvin has had a lot of pressure on him to live up to expectations here in Atlanta. This is mainly due to the Hawks picking Marvin in the 2005 draft. After the 2004-2005 season, the Hawks had a serious holes at the Guard and Center positions, giving players like Tyron Lue, Tony Delk, Predrag Drobenjak, Jason Collier, and Obina Ekezie major minutes at those positions. The team was full of solid rotation Forwards like Antoine Walker, Al Harrington, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, Boris Diaw, and Tom Gugliata. Having the #2 pick in the 2005 draft left everyone to think the Hawks were going to draft their franchise PG in a heavily talented PG and C draft. With Andrew Bogut going 1st, it is completely assumed that the Hawks were going to take their pick of either Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Raymond Felton to help solidify this team that has no driver. Who do the Hawks choose? Another forward. Marvin Williams was considered the 2nd best draft prospect behind Andrew Bogut, but by drafting another forward, this only created huge expectations for Marvin that he could never fully meet. Chris Paul and Deron Williams went on to become franchise, elites that are considered the best and 2nd best PG’s in the league.

Mike Bibby, Memphis’ #2 pick in the 1998 Draft, has had a flourishing career leading the Kings to multiple Conference Semifinals and once to the Conference Finals. He was always a top 10 PG in the league, averaging per game 15.8 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.2 rebounds, making his name as one of the deadliest 3 point shooters in the game. When Bibby was acquired at the 2007 – 2008 trade deadline, he had a dropoff in production due to a thumb injury that sidelined him 36 games for Sacramento. Fighting through the injury, Bibby played and dramatically improved the young Hawks, whom have never had a weapon like a solid PG. Bibby made the Hawks playoff bound and after an 8 season drought, the Hawks were the 8th seed in the 2008 Playoffs. Since Bibby has been on the Hawks, Atlanta has been a top 4 contender in the Eastern Conference. Last year was the largest wake up to fans that Bibby is getting older and becoming an obsolete starting PG, being one-step behind the opposing team. NBA Analyst Kelly Dwyer believes there are 6 teams that have 2 better PG’s. To stay in contention, the Hawks need to upgrade AGAIN at starting PG. But here are 2 reasons why the Hawks should not upgrade Marvin Williams or Mike Bibby:

Reason 1: A New Coach. The Hawks Front Office believes the problem was in the coach and his coaching style. In Woodson ball, offense was generally an Isolation game. To succeed in Woodson ball, you needed to be a talented one-on-one player. The Hawks new coach, Larry Drew, will have a different approach by creating a motion offense, the exact opposite of Woody’s approach. This offense will exploit Marvin’s strengths. Larry Drew is going to be a breath of fresh air.

Reason 2: Jeff Teague. Mike Bibby has an expiring contract this year, but with a new head coach, Jeff Teague might be able to take the driver keys from Bibby this season. Under Woody, we weren’t able to gauge Teague’s talent. Hopefully Drew will put more responsibility on Teague to find out what we have. By the end of this season, we will find out whether Teague is a stud or bust.

So even though the Hawks front office has not moved their 2 weak spots in the starting lineup, it is for good reason. Why would you move player’s that did not have success under another coach’s style when you are bringing in a new coach that could exploit players strengths. This is a good move by the Front Office to just wait and see what’s gonna happen.

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