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Hawks Better Without JJ?

Note: Ok, I tried benching the game threads but I miss linking to other team's blogs.  Here's what I think I'll try doing the rest of the year:  Before each game, I'll post about the night's opponents.  Maybe my own thoughts, maybe some words from the team blog following that team, maybe just something random about them.  Like the Celtics, this blog is all about building for next year, so if this works out, I'll pick up the option on the game blogs and maybe give them a multiyear extension.  Here goes:

atl.gifThe Hawks have lost Joe Johnson for the year but have managed to win 4 straight without him.  Some fans are coming to the conclusion that the team should trade JJ.  Sekou Smith has something to say about that:

You cannot be serious.

If anything, this run without JJ should illustrate to everyone (in Hawksville and in fan world and beyond) that the emphasis on team should always be first and foremost on the minds of us all.

This happens every season when a big time player on a given team goes down with an injury. People realize that there is strength in numbers and that Naismith intended for this game to be played by groups of five and not one on one.

No one can deny the obvious surge in play by the Hawks minus-JJ. But to assume that because of said surge JJ is no longer needed, well, let’s just say that’s the type of thinking that leads to the type of foolishness that led the Hawks to this valley in franchise history in the first place.

Now, if they want to give us back Joe Johnson, I woudn't mind, but I think the writer is on the right track.  Build on this momentum, use it to encourage the team to play as a team, but don't toss out the best player you've had since 'Nique just because the Ewing Theory says so.  I won't pretend to know all of what they need to do, but getting a point guard wouldn't be a bad first step (no Anthony Johnson doesn't count).

On a positive note, the string of small forwards they have brought in are finally starting to pan out.  Josh Smith had a huge game against the Sixers (26 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocks) and Marvin Williams and Josh Childress have come along.  Perhaps they can use one or two of those guys to shore up the point and center positions.

Of course, the team will hope to address some of those needs through the draft, but if they don't land one of the top 3 picks the Suns will be taking their pick (as part of that Joe Johnson deal).  They do hold the rights to the Pacers pick, but only if it isn't in the top 10.  That would seem a safe bet if it weren't for the Pacers current ten game losing streak.

Of course it also wouldn't hurt to sort out the messy ownership situation, but that's a whole other problem.

By the way, if you want to watch good basketball for a change, you might want to check out the Mavs vs. Suns tonight.