Time For The Hawks To Turn The Page?





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – When the playoff pairings came into focus late in the regular season, we knew there was the potential for this when the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks got locked into the No. 4-5 battle in the Eastern Conference.

An era was coming to an end. A five-year run for one of these two franchises would continue on for at least another series and that same five-year run (that began in their epic first-round series in 2008) for the other franchise would have run its course.

Well, it’s time for the Hawks to face the reality of their own situation and turn the page. The Hawks are facing more than just elimination after their disastrous 101-79 Game 4 showing in Boston Sunday night. Most compassionate observers turned away from when the Celtics’ lead grew to 37 points … with more than a quarter and a half to play remaining.

How many times can you hear about a team talk about “not responding” or “we just didn’t have it” or “our energy and effort was nonexistent” in a big game situation before it sinks in?

The Hawks have dropped 12 playoff games by 20-plus points since 2008, a staggering number that does not include all of the games they lost by 16, 17, 18 and 19 points.

They’d fight back with stats of their own — such as along with the Celtics and Lakers, they are one of just three teams to reach the second round in each of the past three seasons. But that would foolishly suggest that the Hawks belong in the same sentence with two franchises that have won championships in the past four seasons.

The Celtics won it all in 2008 while the Lakers won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. The Hawks, for all of their accomplishments during this same stretch, have been escorted from the postseason in an ugly fashion each and every time, without once truly breaking through with this current core group.

They’ll tell anyone willing to listen that this series is far from over at 3-1 with Game 5 Tuesday night at Philips Arena. And with their history against these Celtics, it might be worth a listen. They played seven games in 2008, with each team taking turns ruling their home floors all the way through to Game 7.

But this time is different. As much as you’d like to believe these limping Hawks have a chance to make a series out of this one, the stench of inevitability is floating in the air after that Game 4 debacle in Boston.

Even if the Hawks find a way to push this thing to a Game 6, it’s hard to see them coming all the way back from this hole and winning the series — they’d have to become the ninth team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.

Their core includes All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford, Josh Smith, their best player during this injury-plagued season that has seen Horford play in just 12 games (the 12th coming in Game 4 after a four-month layoff after surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle), third-year point guard Jeff Teague and former No. 2 overall pick and current sixth man Marvin Williams. (You could add veteran center Zaza Pachulia to that list as well, since he is one of the five holdovers from that 2008 series.)

Viewed as one of the league’s most promising young groups a couple of years ago, the Hawks refused to part ways with any of that core in an effort to tweak their flawed chemistry and risk getting better by letting a valuable piece go.

Of course, we have the luxury of hindsight right now. And it’s easier to point out the flaws of this group as their end draws near. But the Hawks’ front office (spanning two regimes, both Billy Knight‘s and, currently, Rick Sund‘s) continuously stood their ground, opting to change coaches (from Mike Woodson to Larry Drew) and swap the role players and supporting cast while maintaining the core.

(We’ll spare you the standard line of citing all of the botched lottery picks, empty free agent signings and failed point guard experiments.)



You hold on tight to that core when you believe they form the basis of a championship team, not a team good enough to make the playoffs and maybe the second round. Draft picks have come and gone, opportunities to trade one of those core players have come and gone and opportunities to let them walk via free agency have come and gone.

Each and every time the Hawks’ brain trust weighed their options, they decided against a radical or even significant move in favor of the stability and safety net that comes with a guaranteed playoff team — that’s smart business in the front-office world, but not exactly a move that inspires or intrigues an already fickle local fan base.

The fact of the matter is risks must be taken if a franchise has its sights set on the ultimate reward. The Celtics parted ways with Kendrick Perkins, one of their mainstays from their two trips to The Finals. It was a move that did not meet with the approval of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. Even Celtics coach Doc Rivers struggled to hide his unease with the move when it went down.

But Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is a risk-taker who understands that bold leadership is the path to greater success, knowing full well that whether it works out or not is on his head.

Perkins was traded to the Thunder, a team with a younger core much closer in makeup to the one the Hawks had a few years ago, when the window of opportunity for making a move was much greater.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti traded former lottery pick and starting small forward Jeff Green to get his hands on Perkins, the gritty big man he felt completed his team. It was a calculated risk that helped transform the Thunder from a talented and promising young outfit into a championship contender that made the Western Conference finals last season and is one of a handful of teams now capable of reaching The Finals this year.

Those are just two examples of teams the Hawks consider contemporaries that have made the hard choices with their core groups, hard choices the Hawks avoided in the past and will have to make in coming weeks and months.

Because there is no doubt that the time has come for the Hawks to turn the page and chart a new future, one that does not include all of the familiar faces you’ve seen over the past five years.


89 Comments

  1. HAWKSFAN19 says:

    The Hawks should trade pretty much everyone and just keep Horford and Smith to build around. They need a true veteran point guard who can lead them through the season and playoffs. And the biggest of all get rid of Johnson’s ridiculous contract.

  2. Corey says:

    I understand people’s concern for the Hawks, but they are a great team. Could they be better? of course and so could every other team in the league. They lost to the #1 bulls last year in the second round and to the defending eastern conference champs the year before. The two years before that they took out miami and then went to the second and took the soon to be world champion C’s to game 7. They are a legit team who is not missing as much as people think they are.

  3. Ty says:

    Well, its obvious that the Hawks aren’t going to get past Boston, but IF it is possible, we should aquire Eric Gordon from the Hornets, and trade JJ for him. Not only that, but we need more height inside the paint. So I think that we should trade J-Smoove to the Nets for Brook Lopez and move Horford to the 4. And maybe… just maybe, we could trade Marvin for Caron Butler.. Lastly, We should Trade Jason Colins for a better player…. THAT’S RIGHT BRING THE WHITE MAMBA TO ATLANTA!! SCAL 4 PREZ!

  4. Darko says:

    Atlanta will win this series keep believe!!!

  5. ATLHAWKS says:

    GET A CENTER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!!!!! OUR FIRST NEEDS HAS ALWAYS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A CENTER UNTIL WE GET ONE!!! I DONT WANT A STUPID PG THEY SHOULD OF DUMPED JOE USING AMNESIA OR WHATEVER THEN PICK UP ERIC GORDON AND THEN A BIGMAN…… DWIGHT HOWARD?

  6. Benjamin Epstein says:

    Sadly being a die hard hawks fan, i truely belive it is time to switch up the core. it will be hard to see them go, but i much rather see them winning instead. i say we pick up a guard like nash in free agency. He can help build up teague, or we can add teague and smith in a deal and gain a better piece to help nash and horford build up the franchiseand amesty joe. I feel like with fresh new players and the building potential with players like teauge and ivan and amesty joe, while parting ways with smoove and JJ, we can become much better for the future, and i can finnaly be proud to be a hawk fan.

  7. JRod says:

    The Hawks have never been the same since they made the trade for Danning Manning to replace Dominique Wilkins the in middle of a season that was going well for them. High playoff hopes on a potential championship team that year. Ever since then, ownership/management has make less than admirable decisions, including making Joe Johnson the highest paid player in the NBA. I approve of the nucleus with Joe, Josh, Jeff, and Al but really and truly a solid big man like Chandler, or Perkins was missing from this team. With so many many finesse players, and no one to really grind it out with some intimidation (minus the few mins from Ivan Johnson) they are not solid enough to make it into deep playoff and championship contention. Thankfully Jeff Teague has become the point guard we need but, Atlanta needs to make some SERIOUS, SERIOUS moves and not try and fill the bench with old women like Erica Dampier. Keep the Vets like McGrady and Stackhouse for leadership in the locker room and get some quality pics during the off season. Shake it up!! Make something happen. It’s loooooooon overdue… I’m talking to directly to Ed Peskowitz, Michael Gearon Jr. and Bruce Levenson

  8. beantown says:

    I voted for josh smith because he expressed a desire to play elsewhere. I also beleive that its time for both teams to turn the page.The hawks are a good team but dont have rondo, teague is a good up and coming point guard but just doesnt have the skills that rondo posesses in due time i think he will become an elite point guard for any team but needs more playoff experience first to understand that in the playoffs you need to take a extra step and do twice as much that you have in the regular season. The celtics understand this might be their last hurrah with the big three intact, they also have the experience to make the correct adjustments from game to game. they also have tremendous heart and pride that run deep. but next season they’ll be one more year older.

  9. jase says:

    we need a center. end of story. if we had dwight we couldnt be stopped.

  10. TTKIN says:

    Wasnt this the same discussion last season? It seems like every year, the Spurs are too old to contend, the Celtics are too old to contend, and the Hawks always need to blow up their roster. Never happens though…does anyone really think it’ll happen this year? Good luck getting rid of Joe Johnson. A guy making that much and doing that little will NOT be sought out by other teams. The only way thatll happen is if it’s a contract dump (anyone else reminded of Rashard Lewis being traded for Gilbert Arenas).

  11. ATLHawks says:

    The Hawks should of began rebuilding a couple years ago when they got sewpt by the Cavs! Trade JJ, Williams and maybe a draft pick to Orlando for Dwight, move horford to the 4 smith to the 3 let McGrady start and Teague is your point. Everyone wins. And if we’re being honest Larry Drew is just as bad a coach as Mike Woodson was. Wake up ATL front office!

  12. Ben H. says:

    The Hawks have too many developing players to be called a bust, at least right now. I agree with JJ not living up to expectation with that big salary. But Horford, Smith, Teague are guys who still have some developing to do. I would keep these players and try to get a legitimate big man in there, then Horford and Smith could slide down the roster. Many will disagree with me but I think they should try to keep the core for one more year (with the exception of JJ). The Hawks could trade JJ (maybe eat some of his salary), and trade up for a solid big man. This is a big stretch, but picking up Pau Gasol would be a great move (not gonna happen though lol).

  13. ISO-JOE does not work says:

    The Atlanta Hawks=definition of insanity. Same team play every year but everyone is expecting different results?! Joe always disappears in the playoffs, we play one good game at home and get BLOWN OUT on the road. When is the ASG gonna stop asking their pets for their opinions about how to run the organization while they’re on their yachts in the South of France?! get some “real basketball” owners in there that actually KNOW THE GAME, keep Joe (unfortunately we are stuck with him), keep Josh, package Al (as much as I hate to say that but like someone else said, Josh has shown that Al is expendable) ,Marvin and Hinrich in a trade, get a legit center (all we really need is a rebounder and a defender) and a small forward.

    DONE!

  14. D.O. says:

    Hawks just needs an all star POINT GUARD and Good Scoring SMALL FORWARD.

  15. MettaHatePeace says:

    They need to trade HORFORD for a LEGITIMATE BIG MAN

  16. Kevin says:

    There’s something to be said for making the playoffs year after year, and I’m not sure the year that Al Horford is injured is the year to decide major changes need to be made. It does seem that based on Atlanta’s performance in the playoffs the last few years that they don’t have a title contender, healthy or not, but the idea that a contender can be made from a few choice moves is always easier in the imagination than it is in reality. There are only so many Lebron Jameses and James Hardens to go around.

  17. Wesley says:

    I’d say send Josh Smith and Horoford to Boston for their draft pick, Jeff Green and Garnett, Smith and Horford would love Rondo’s pure point guard brilliance

    • TTKIN says:

      That would help Boston, not Atlanta. They would give up 2 of their premier players for one who has been injured for like 2 straight years, a PF/C who is on the brink of retirement, and a draft pick which wont even be that good because the Celtics always contend and therefore will have a lower pick number.

    • Luke Walton says:

      I agree with you Wesley

  18. Matt says:

    Joe Johnson should go, J.T is a great PG with huge potential and he should become the new leader of the team. Joe and T-Mac for a Chandler or Marc Gasol would be a great move, it would free up Smith to play his natural SF position and Horford to play PF where he would finish better offensively

  19. Frank says:

    No one in their right mind would be willing to absorb Johnson’s ridiculous contract, not to mention Atlanta would still require a valuable trade for a player they consider to be their ”superstar”.

    Which GM would give up a valuable pick/player just to eliminate any flexibility in their salary cap for the next 5 years and only get a decent 30 year old… He only averaged 18-4-4, hardly the numbers you’d expect for the amount of money he’s making.

    Giving Joe Johnson that max contract was a huge mistake, Atlanta will pay for it in the years to come.

    • ATLHAWKS says:

      why didnt they use that thing on him that teams like orlando used on gilbert arenas i forgot what it was called they should of done that then pick up eric gordon and a true bigman in the draft or free agency

  20. dan says:

    I dont think they need a rebuilding, just regrouping. This is a good team. What they need is a small forward which is good in offence and great in defence, in order to cover JJ defence flaws. I am thinking Tayshaun Prince for M.Williams. Pistons would welcome it. Starting line-up: Teague, JJ, Prince, Smith and Horford. Not bad. (Just a thought: with Popovich on the bench, this would be more than enough for, at least confference final)

  21. Neb says:

    They need a solid veteran coach.A great coach will pull all the pieces and talent together.

  22. jase says:

    yeh we need do something. the celticsare old and not even good. we just make em look good. no way do rhey make it out second round. we have just played awful. celtics dont impress.

    • TTKIN says:

      Ur taking the 76ers over the Celtics next round? Especially with homecourt advantage on Boston’s side, I’m taking them all the way. Boston vs. Miami in the East Finals.

      • RCG says:

        You’re just hatin’ on the the Celtics. In your heart you know what’s gonna happen to Philly and there’s no “Brotherly Love” involved. Boston smelled blood in the water after the All-Star break and went on a frenzy. Think of the Celtics like a diesel freight-train…slow to start but a juggernaught once moving. After Rose went down for good, Boston became a East finalist-favorite along with Miami. Like the Celtics. LOVE the Celtics! This team is on a mission and they appear intent on a return to The Finals.

  23. ATLienC4 says:

    Come Home DWIGHT….ATL is yo City

  24. Rockster says:

    ATL needs to rebuild… Let go of JJ go and get a legit scorer that will blend with AL and Josh. In my opinion JJ is just like Hedo Turk. Inconsistent. and he is better a 2nd option in scoring. Im a fan of ATL and believe that they can be a Contender. Another option is to get a young coach.
    If the management decides to stick with the same core, the coaching staff should consider Josh Smith to be their Main Man, and let JJ be the 2nd option to score.

  25. JIMMY THE #1 HAWKS FAN IN THE WORLD! says:

    I don’t think the Hawks need to change a thing! We have the team, and we have the coaching staff. The thing we don’t have is the fans! The Atlanta Hawks have the worst fans in the world! I went to the Hawks-Knicks game in Atlanta in April, and the Crowd was cheering lets go Knicks in Atlanta! The Hawks have the best team in the NBA, but we have the single worst fan base in the NBA. I bet the Bobcats have better fans than us! I love every single player on the Hawks, and I think picking marvin Wlliams as the 2nd overall pick was a great move! I don’t think that Joe Johnson is over payed. Joe Johnson is my favorite player ever and always will be! Just because we had injuries all season long and are losing in the playoffs make us a bad team! If the Heat were missing Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, and lost the playoff series, no one would be making this up! The Hawks are the Number 1 team in the league and always will be! ATL forever!

    • ATLHAWKS says:

      ARE YOU CRAZY!!!! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO BE A HAWKS FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOMEONE NEEDS TO SLAP YOU SILLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Matt says:

    They have to give up Al or Josh – they are stuck with JJ because of his stupid contract, but he is productive, and if he had a great PG, who knows what his ceiling is.
    If they could trade either Al or Josh for Steve Nash and a nice complementary player like Dudley, they could get 2 good years out of it and maybe make a run at a conference final.
    I don’t think there’s much of a market for Marvin unfortunately

    What about swapping JJ for RR? Celts need scoring and Rajon seems to be wearing out his welcome at the celts…

    • Are you Serious? says:

      You have to be joking, right? Wearing out his welcome? He just dropped a trip dub, and if he wanted to score 10 points a game, he would average a double double. And as must as I hate that we essientially traded away JJ, there is no answer for the Truth.

  27. Machiavelli says:

    both josh and al play best at the PF position, so its better to trade one of them and get quality subs+a decent defensive center

  28. iBrahim says:

    one thing the hawks shouldnt do is trade josh smith or joe johnson, josh smith is a an all around player and his defense is crazy good. joe johnson is as good as kobe bryant when it comes to clutch shots.. what i think mostly should happen is get young players and let go of collins, dampier, and even radmonovic.

  29. celticfan says:

    I think the celtics should try to get Josh Smith so Rajon Rondo and Smith can be reunited as a hgih school team and i would love to see rondo oop it to smith.

  30. T-MacAttack says:

    If only T-Mac Explodes again like his Orlando/Houston Days surely ATLANTA Will WIN the Plaoffs and the Championship…

  31. chuckfromAtlanta says:

    I voted Marvin. It’s obvious he did not meet many expectations. But I wouldn’t trade the core. It’s so annoying how the Hawks have blown so many games in-bounding the ball to Joe looking for that magical shot to win; which has happened at times, but shouldn’t be the go to play every single time. Everyone knows this, and the same thing happens most of the time. He dribbles out the last few seconds only to be double teamed, then throws up a terrible look.

    What the Hawks need is a a revamp within the coaching staff.

    Woodson was a joke in Atlanta. Larry Drew has a better handle on the team and definitely helped the Hawks these last couple of seasons, but still he does not have what it takes to tame, and re-shape this team. Drew’s vacant emotions and monotone attitude gives very little hope to us.

    Yes the core needs to change, but I feel within the coaching staff. The Hawks players have great potential. Maybe the real leader isn’t necessarily a player on the court.

  32. Yave says:

    J-Smoove to Orlando

  33. @ThaKota says:

    Agreed, the Hawks need a center and get Al Horford to PF position, let Josh Smith play the 3, get Chris Kaman at the Center positon and some good role players and they can contend…..it is really simple. If they can get Nash superb if not they will be fine with teague!

  34. Woffie says:

    I’m yet to understand how the Perkins trade has made the celtics any better or at least has been a factor on keeping them as playoffs contenders; wouldn’t put that as an example of good decision making at managing.

    • Lee says:

      The perkins trade was to save money, he wanted more than they were willing to pay him so they traded him to get something rather than have him leave for nothing at the end of his contract. I’d imagine theyre looking to save for future rebuilding since the big 3 are ancient. I do miss perk tho, him and KG could hold the paint down.

      • RCG says:

        …like Jeff Green isn’t going to demand crazy cash in the near future. And how’d that turn out anyway. JO and Kystic at center during the playoffs (last year)…ugliness beyond belief. If he’s (Green) healthy enough to play next year it’ll be a contract year for him after being out a full season on a two-year contract. That trade looked bad then and looks worse now. Perk was/is a beast and was undervalued by the C’s front office. Boston knew it would have to rebuild in a few years so it really makes no sense to unload their defensive anchor if they were/are trying to win now. WhatTF was Ainge thinking by holding on to JO for so long and shipping Perk? Boston should have sent JO and Baby to OKC instead.

  35. Woffie says:

    I think the fact that they’ve been making it to the playoffs consistently shows that keeping the team the same has paid off pretty well…

  36. T.D. says:

    It is sad how quickly this window for the Hawks is closing. Unfortunately Sekou hit the nail on the head. ATL’s front office is settling for just making the playoffs every year and not trying to add the necessary pieces to advance. A year or so ago, I would have sacrificed Horford not now. Unless he continues to get bitten by the injury bug, Josh Smith is the player I’d sacrifice first. Most teams would shy away Johnson’s high priced deal. Funny thing is four years ago you could not have convinced me the team that took the C’s to seven games in the first round would not have at least an ECF appearance. Definately time for change in Atlanta.

  37. Machiavelli says:

    they wont be able to trade joe johnson that easily, he’s tied to ATL due to his HUGE contract. Better get more shooters, and patter it after Orlando Magic plays, and have joe johnson play ala Turkoglu (magic,2008)

  38. Truth2 says:

    Any team with Marvin Williams in the rotation is a bad team…

  39. Truth says:

    I remember all the Hawks fans claiming that they would crush the “old” Celtics team in 5 or 6 games. wow…how does it feel now to get the truth? Can you handle it?

  40. CB says:

    Everyone voted for Josh Smith cos they want him traded to their team.

  41. gabriel says:

    The hawks are still a good team. I still do not know what was going on in the owner’s head for giving joe johnson 120 mil. He’s good but he is not worth that. All we need is another scorer and another legit big man. Jeff teague is fine where he is at and josh is too.

  42. Eric says:

    I’m more of a celtics fan than a hawks fan, but I do agree that Atlanta should get rid of some certain pieces if they want a better future. Jeff Teague is fine and he’s a great shooter, but Joe Johnson does like the ball in his hands, but sometimes it’s to much. Marvin Williams hasn’t done much over the past year, so trade him for a better guard or small forward to replace him, like courtney lee, jameer nelson, deron williams, or someone else that’s good. Bye

  43. I think you should give the hawks another season the were so injured this year now with a legit point gaurd in Teague and Josh Smith now hittin outside jumpers, with horford and zaza getting healthier and Steady Joe i think they can be a better team next year if healthy

  44. Roy says:

    Get rid of Joe Johnson please. He has a ridiculous salary for a player who is GOOD at best. He is an offensive liability. He makes the team worse. Trade him for some good role players and salary cap and let the ball enter the hands of Smith and Horford some more. Teague is a decent PG who has lots of potential but he isnt going to develop with the ball hog Johnson there.

  45. charles says:

    Great Article. I think they just don’t suit up the way they should. Joe Johnson is a small forward, not a guard. He’s too slow for guards. Josh Howard is a great talent but it’s either him or Al Hartford. They need to trade for a guard that can create his own shot. This year, they should look at Dragic, Lee, or Gordon as potential guards. They need some quickness and a guard that can create his own shot….maybe a center like Chris Kaman…that’s it….

  46. EddieKang48 says:

    In the big scheme of things I do understand as a Hawks fan that it’s time to do something different. The pieces that should go are Horford and Marvin in a trade. Josh has proven this year how expendable Al Horford is to this franchise. Josh has been the second All Star on this team for the longest even if the league has chose not to recognize him in that capacity. He has always been the leading shot blocker, second scorer, and top energy guy. Al Horford has a contract that runs at least through 2015 at $12,000,000 per year. Marvin has 2012/13 as his last year then a player option for the next season. These are movable pieces in a package deal or 3 way trade. Javale McGee would have been a perfect fit for the Hawks. You do not move Joe nor Josh, and you made a terrible mistake by getting rid of Jordan Crawford for Kirk Hinrich. Ivan Johnson also has a one year deal, but he’s proven himself to be a keeper. If ASG/Rick Sund decide to move Josh Smith instead of being in the top 4 of the East b/c technically they were this year as well you go back to being in the bottom.

  47. jdewayneatl says:

    There are 30 teams in the NBA. In the last 30 years only 7 of those franchises have had the fortune to win a championship. So basically in the NBA most teams (23) can only hope to make a good playoff run each year. Odds are even after blowing up the team, a championship is probably not in the near future.

    I’d rather endure season after season of losing in the playoffs rather than season after season of just losing.

    • Yomama says:

      yes but lots of those teams are/were contenders when they didn’t win it all:
      Chicago, OKC, San Antonio this year (before Rose went down)
      Utah Jazz (when they lost to MJ’s Bulls)
      Miami (last year)
      Sonics (when they lost to MJ’s BUlls)
      Orlando (with Penny and Shaq)

      When is the last time anyone (seriously) would have considered the Hawks a contender??? oh wait…never

    • Clone says:

      bla bla bla.. document yourself before posting dude. :)

      9 different franchises won it in the last 30years, 14 in the last 41years
      19 different franchises went to The Finals in the last 30years

      http://www.nba.com/history/finals/champions.html

      @Yomama last time was when the Hawks were still in St Louis :D

      • RCG says:

        18 teams won the NBA Championship: Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Pistons, Rockets, Mavericks and Heat recently. Knicks, Bullets, Bucks, Blazers, Suns, Warriors (Golden State), Sixers, Sonics, Royals (Became Sac. Kings) and (St. Louis) Hawks. The Lakers franchise won in two different cities…L.A. and Minneapolis.

    • Jameel says:

      @jdewayneatl…How many of those teams that won championships were legitimate contenders years prior? Look at OKC; when they were the Sonics their only real shot was back in 1996 when Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton were leading them, now they are heavily favored in the west. Look at Dallas, who finally won last year for the first time ever, or Miami who won for the first time in 2006. Look at Boston and all the years Paul Pierce was leading a storied franchise into the ground because he had no true help or leadership on the floor with him. Look how bad off Chicago has been since Jordan left, now they -were a contender this year- but are still a force in the future with Derrick Rose. Look at the Clippers who have had only 2 (semi) winning seasons in the past 30+ years; they are now legitimate contenders. The point is that you can’t settle. If you do that then it’s not only stupid from a business standpoint, it’s disrepectful to the fans of Atlanta…The forementioned teams have all been worse off than Atlanta, yet they are now contenders, and it’s all because they took a risk. Atlanta HAS TO rebuild. If they lose for a few years, so be it, so long as they are making a good faith attempt to win!

  48. OWNED says:

    Hawks are fine,they cant get any better lets be realistic the only teams that can be real championship contenters for the next few years is the HEAT,OKC,Lakers,clippers,spurs,memphis, all the other teams have to trade and get good FA to be able to compete,the eastern conference basically is really weak,miami is too much for any eastern team right now and i think they r gunna be scary good next year if they get some good free agents.

  49. unggi says:

    Bring Steve Nash to Atlanta Hawks.

  50. Celtics_Diva says:

    I don’t know if the hawks need to rebuild the team, the celtics are just a better team than they are right now.

    • Jameel says:

      Yes, the Celtics are a better team, but the Hawks must rebuild. It’s not only this year with Boston, it’s been every year since 2008; they need a fresh start!

  51. Alexandre says:

    I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I´m a Hawks fan since the 80´s, because of the great Dominique Wilkins. As most of the Hawks supporters, I expected this team to be great after the 2008 season. It was the beggining of a new era. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Always a good team, no doubt about it. But never, never a great team, a championship contender. After the disaster in Boston, it´s time to start all over again. Jonhson, Horford and Smith. Good players? Yes. But all of them lack the attitude of a champion. It´s no acceptable the way they lost on Sunday. Yeah, it´s time to turn the page……

  52. Peter says:

    hawks has been this way for decades, if the fans want to see real changes to this team, they need a new owner

  53. Iffy says:

    I’m really not sure they need to make any major changes. Yeah, it doesn’t look like they are going to get out of the first round this year. Its hard to overlook the fact that Josh Smith, an MVP candidate, and Al Horford, a multiple time all-star, and the backup that has been filling in for Al, Zaza Pachulia, is also injured. They had an outstanding record for a team that was missing an all-star for pretty much the entire season, and did decent considering they had basically no legitimate center later on. With Smith out, they don’t stand much of a chance for the rest of the season. I say just wait for everyone to recover, however, and they will stand a good chance at a championship.

    • Jameel says:

      I must respectfully disagree…They’ve been healthy in years past and still have not been able to do it. They lack leadership, both in the front office, and on the floor. They need to move pieces and get a floor general, which won’t be easy unless they unload Josh Smith. No one will trade a battle tested and proven leader for Joe Johnson.

    • kILLarifIC says:

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL ARE YOU REALLY CALLING JOSH SMITH AN MVP CANIDATE??? YOU MUST BE FROM ATLANTA.. LIKE JAMEEL SAYS, THEY LACK LEADERSHIP ON THE COURT AND FRONT OFFICE. THE ONLY REASON THE HAWKS SIGNED JOE JOHNSON TO THAT CONTRACT WAS BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT NO REAL STAR WOULD GO AND PLAY THERE SO THEY WANTED TO KEEP THE CLOSEST THING THEY HAD TO A STAR NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT WAS GONNA COST THEM. JSMOOVE AND T-MAC ARE MY FAVORITE PLAYERS ON THAT TEAM BUT JOSH SMITH IS NEVER GONNA BE A STARTER ON A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM. MAYBE HED BE A GREAT 6 MAN LIKE ODOM FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM BUT THATS ABOUT IT. SORRY GUYS

  54. punnyjr says:

    lol people talk like there are plenty of groups that can win championship

    if you get rid of them who you will replace ……..

    • Jameel says:

      It’s not that there are plenty of groups, it’s just that this team was supposedly built for that purpose. The fact that you can’t get past the second round in over 5 tries raises flags. It’s definitely time to start over. Even if they can’t get a Superstar they shouldn’t be afraid to abandon some of those guys and start from the ground up. It will have the same effect it has now, which is failed season after failed season.

      • kILLarifIC says:

        THIS TEAM WAS NOT BUILT TO BE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM JAMEEL. IT WAS BUILT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS EVERY YEAR. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME A TEAM WON A CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT A REAL BIGMAN? HORFORD IF NOT A TRUE BIGMAN. THE ONLY REASON HES MADE THE ALL STAR TEAM IS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF BIG MEN IN THE EAST, AFTER DWIGHT HOWARD THERES A HUGE FALL IN TALENT AT THAT POSITION. COREYS COMMENT SAID THAT JOSH SMITH IS GROWING.. IN WHAT WAY?? HE HAD A VERY GOOD SEASON BUT BECAUSE HORFORD WAS OUT, AND JOE JOHNSON WAS ABSENT MINDED. THEY DONT HAVE A TRUE BIG MAN NOR A TRUE POINT GUARD. LAST YEAR IT LOOKED LIKE TEAGUE HAD POTENTIAL BUT HE GOES INVISIBLE IN BIG GAMES, MARVIN WILLIAMS IS A GOOD DEFENDER BUT INCONSISTANT. AT TIMES IT SEEMED TO ME THAT TRACEY MCGRADY WAS THERE BEST POINT GUARD. THIS TEAM NOT IN ANY WAY WAS BUILT TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP, SORRY HAWKS FANS BUT YALL AINT WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP THIS DECADE EVEN IF YOU GET DWIGHT HOWARD

      • ATLHAWKS says:

        yeah like thats gonna happen

  55. Nate says:

    It’s time for the Hawks to rebuild, this group of players they have right now are just good enough to make the playoffs every year but not to win a championship. Just face the facts ATL and move on, especially the over paid price on Joe Johnson getting paid a Superstar salary when he’s definitely not worth that much, a bad move on ATL front office. You can keep this group and make the playoffs the next 4-5 yrs but winning a championship is unlikely.

    • Corey says:

      Josh is growing, horfords our rock. Marvin and joe are great for some regular season highlights, but lack the leadership and ability to accomplish hurdles in the playoffs.
      Get rid of joe and marvin and get a solid leader to take us forward! Nash, Howard, D will, or other trades. THE TIME IS NOW!
      Josh and Horford should stay unless an incredible deal comes by!

      • Nate says:

        I see Joe Johnson being the 2nd guy on a team like the Magics, that’ll make the Magics a legit contender if they could get Johnson to help out Dwight. As for the Hawks, they need a true Superstar, someone like Dirk, Lebron, or Kobe with the amount of $ they’re paying JJ right now. The Hawks actually has a really good squad with Horford and Smith as the 2nd and 3rd options, but they need that 1st option and JJ is not gonna cut it. Now I’m not saying that this is gonna happen, i’m just saying that this is what I see each club needs to do to become championship contenders.

      • uoykcuf says:

        I agreed with you but I don’t think anyone would take joe.

      • Justin says:

        Howard already has said he would like to come back to ATL i could see them moving Horford to PF where he is more comfortable anyway and moving Josh Smith to SF btw both Smith and Howard played on the same AAU team growing up so the team mate chemistry is already there

      • ATLHAWKS says:

        Howard never said he wanted to go to the hawks i wish he would but he wont

  56. HAWKS says:

    I think an option up there should be management. ASG needs to be replaced first to truly start rebuilding. Atlanta Hawks fans, let’s protest!

    • Juan says:

      yup definitely managment!

      • dgt2 says:

        ‘Management’ really?

        fine horses need fine ‘JOCKEYS’ i doubt Mr.drew will fit into that fine category yet,
        …..May be its better to let go of one man for the teams sake!

    • Justin says:

      i still don’t understand why they let go of Mike Woodson

  57. Zach Gillette says:

    Joe Johnson’s nickname should be the “Offense Eliminator.” Once his hand touches the ball, every player stops moving until he just shoots it.