having failed to write a season preview [distracted by all that election nonsense], i would really be remiss if i didn't comment on the early success of the hometown atlanta hawks. through six games, they are fucking undefeated.
i have to say that josh childress has not really been missed. the fearless perimeter scoring of flip murray been a great surprise. add in the wing play of maurice evans, and they've at least made up for his loss. as for the hawks starting lineup:
joe johnson continues to be a star. he'll always be a notch below the lebron's and kobe's of the world, but i would contend only one notch below. a real shot-maker and [unfortunately for his fatigue level] also our best defender.
josh smith is a really improved player. he still takes stupid shots, like he's trying to create new shots on the fly (oh, and please lay off the threes). he needs to realize that, unless you happen to be one of the aforementioned olympian wing players, the NBA is about go-to moves (not creating new looks). smith still gets burned by his man, but his help defense and anticipation are great. and his athleticism is absurd. let's hope he gets back from the ankle injury quickly.
marvin williams has expanded his range over the summer. our starting small forward, who made 1 of 10 3 pt attempts all last season, is 4 of 7 so far this year. he still dribbles only in a straight line, and is prone to charges. but he is improved. notice how he soars for rebounds this year, seems like he improved his ups as well.
mike bibby still can't guard anybody...but he's been shooting well. two big threes in the 4th last night. his backup, acie law, has not looked too good. i actually prefer murray in there at point to close out games.
horford is an absolute beast. he looks stronger, his post game looks a lot more confident, and josh smith's temporary absence has forced him to really step up as an interior defender. he has done so admirably. to wit, his torching of his former gator teammate
last night with a 27 pt, 17 reb, 6 block showing. with apologies to smith, of whom my opinion has very much improved, horford is definitely the second most valuable hawk. wouldn't be surprised if he were the most valuable within a year or two.
the hawks go up against the celtics tonight, in what will obviously be a challenging game. regardless of how this game comes out, the hawks really are a team to watch in the east.
btw, doing a google image search for noah, i came upon this blog entry
. silly, but worth a glance at. also this