|2012-13 Team Rating|
|18th Overall||9th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Josh Smith is having an All-Star-type season, his getting kicked out of practice and suspended for one game for conduct detrimental to the team aside. Smith is anchoring the Hawks' frontcourt alongside Al Horford, who hasn't consistently played up to his own All-Star standards.
So many injuries. Lou Williams is gone for the season (knee). And Devin Harris has been in and out of the lineup with various bumps and bruises. And yet the Hawks have managed to get by with an assortment of different rotational players contributing.
A top-10 defensive rating without a defensive standout, outside of Smith, means the Hawks are getting the job done without much in the way of a schematic design. Having a roster full of experienced professionals always helps.
Gone are the days of former Hawks Sixth Man of the Year winner Jamal Crawford coming off the bench and annihilating teams (he's doing that for the Clippers now). But Zaza Pachulia always finds a way to contribute when called upon.
With the drama of injuries and the overall drama in Atlanta -- not including the Hawks' trading away a six-time All-Star in Joe Johnson -- Drew has done a fairly remarkable job for a coach playing out his contract (like most of his roster). Drew may or may not be in the Hawks' future plans. But he's shown himself to be more than capable of handling the job during a transitional season.
There were plenty of questions surrounding this bunch after Danny Ferry took over and traded away Johnson and Marvin Williams in his first 10 days on the job. How would they survive without Johnson to lean on/blame? And whose influence would dominate the locker room between Smith, Horford, Drew and some of the new additions?
There haven't been a ton of clear-cut answers. But somehow they've managed to hold on to their position in the division behind Miami -- it helps when the competition is struggling -- and maintain their spot in the Eastern Conference pecking order. But things could change dramatically with the Feb. 21 trade deadline looming and both Smith and Horford being mentioned as possible trade pieces around the league. Ferry will decide if and when it's time to make a move.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|