The Atlanta Hawks Season Ahead

By Toby Kahl

The 08'-09' season for the Atlanta Hawks was bitter sweet for the most part. While the team improved upon their previous season, the playoff perform against the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn't what the Hawks team hoped for.

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.

Much of the team's success in 2008-2009 can be attributed to Joe Johnson and Al Horford, two talented individuals who have had a profound impact upon the success of this team.

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.

One of the major concerns for the Hawks was the lack of scoring on offense - out of the 30 NBA teams the Hawks were the nineteenth in scoring, which for a playoff team isn't acceptable. If the Hawks ever hope to reach the Eastern Conference Finals their scoring must improve.

The Eastern Conference has many championship quality teams such as the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers should be improved.

Look for the Hawks to build on their success from the last two years. This is a talented, young team that can't be slept on looking forward. Hawks fans have many reasons to be excited. - 31494

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