I can't say this was unexpected, but I can't say that it sits well either. The Hawks were not on anyone's radar (at least, nationally), until they beat out Miami in the opening round of the NBA playoffs. Would they be able to put up a fight against Lebron James, his MVP trophy, and his cast of supporting Cavaliers? It was a fair question, asked in earnest, that earned a prompt and merciless response in the form of a four-game sweep in which every game was lost by double digits.
Should the fans ask questions as to what went wrong? James at the Atlanta Metblog doesn't think so, he just wants to say thanks:
there will be plenty of time in the off-season to chew over what moves the hawks should make; do they get a big-name coach? do they trade josh smith? resign bibby? all of these questions will be out there.
but today, this fan just wants to say thank you. thanks to coach woodson, and joe, and josh and mike and al and marvin and zaza and flip and mo, even acie and mario and solo and the others that came off of the bench.
it was a great ride. i became a hawks fan two seasons ago because i wanted a hometown team to root for and i loved the idea of following some scrappy young underdogs. i became a fan last season, this season i fell in love.
And hawksdawgs at Peachtree Hoops the appreciation, even if it's shaded blue:
We all are invested. During the season, it is about who is right and who is wrong, who is playing well and who needs to step it up, and those issues will certainly return, but when it is all said and done, at least for one day, it is just sad.
I am a Hawks fan. You are a Hawks fan.
And that said, thanks for the ride.
Truth of the matter is, the Hawks are at a crossroads. Did Mike Bibby play his last game here? Can Joe Johnson be consistent in the post season if the Hawks are to make it that far in the coming years?
I'll let the AJC's Jeff Schultz drive home the point:
At what point do you determine: This is as good as he gets, and this is as good as we get with him?
Marvin Williams is unsigned. Josh Smith is still a thrill ride. Thats four-fifths of the starting lineup. The only absolute solid and stable piece to keep and build around: Al Horford.
The Hawks won a seven-game series against Miami. But they still showed an ability to get blown out by an opponent almost as often as they did an ability to dominate one.
You want to feel good about this team. But can you?
Very poingnant questions, and though there is uncertainty in the offseason, the optimist in me says yes, Atlanta should be proud of this team. And I'm not even a Hawks fan.
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Mo gibs muh 'dat.