The Atlanta Hawks Look to Make Strides in '09-'10 Season

By Ben Ridge

The Atlanta Hawks were a good team in the 08'-09' season. The Hawks were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers - this would suggest the Hawks are yet to take the leap into one of the better Eastern Conference teams.

The Hawks advanced through the first round of the playoffs, defeating the Miami Heat in round one, before meeting the Cleveland Cavs in the second round. The Cavs pounced on the Hawks, easily defeating them and putting an end to what was otherwise a successful season for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks have a very young team and looking to build even further in the 09'-10' season. The Hawks were lead by Joe Johnson who averaged nearly 22 points per game in 79 games played.

Johnson is a prolific shooter, especially from the perimeter, and Horford is an exceptional, multi-faceted basketball player whose presence has dominated the team greatly during his two seasons in the league. This is the man to build the team around for years to come.

Horford has great rebounding and shot-blocking ability, and moves up and down the basketball court with great speed. A work in progress, he's expected to improve steadily during the next few seasons. If Horford can develop into what they think he can be, Johnson will have some really nice help around him.

When you can't score you must prevent the other team from scoring, the Hawks defense must improve because their opponent's average for the season was 97 points per game - championship quality teams do not give up that many points.

The only concern I see is the lack of scoring for this team. They must improve on putting up bigger points if they want to make some noise.

The Hawks might be a playoff team once again but the chance of them reaching the Eastern Conference Finals with their current team is doubtful. - 31494

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