NBA Free Agents 2012: Lou Williams Makes Hawks Locks to Return to the Playoffs
When the Atlanta Hawks shipped off Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets and Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz, it seemed as though new general manager Danny Ferry was entering into rebuilding mode, clearing cap space for the future.
However, the addition of Lou Williams on a multiyear deal proves that Ferry's squad isn't going to be content to sit at home and watch as the postseason unfolds.
Even if the master plan is still to land both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in free agency next year—outlandish as that may seem—signing the Philadelphia 76ers' reigning scoring champion and PER leader guarantees the Hawks a return to the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
The loss of Johnson is going to hurt. There's no doubt about that.
For all the grief he took about his exorbitant contract, Johnson was the Hawks' best and most consistent player. He's the one that took the team to a new level.
Now it's up to Lou to make up for the loss of scoring punch as he tries to earn the favor of his hometown fans.
Assuming that no more significant moves are made, here's how the Hawks lineup should look:
Point guard: Jeff Teague, Lou Williams*
Shooting guard: Devin Harris, John Jenkins, DeShawn Stevenson
Small Forward: Anthony Morrow, Mike Scott
Power forward: Josh Smith, Jordan Williams
Center: Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Keith Benson
While that's obviously not the lineup of a title contender, it should be strong enough for the Hawks to earn the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, a task that usually only requires a record of just about .500.
With the addition of Lou Williams, how good are the Hawks?
Al Horford, when healthy, is an All-Star, while Josh Smith has been snubbed for a while now. With an even larger role on the team this season, I have to expect Smoove to finally get that elusive bid.
Teague and Harris form an undersized backcourt, but a potent one, especially with scorers like Williams and Jenkins coming off the bench.
The Hawks should have already been considered a contender for a playoff spot, despite the losses of Johnson and Williams, but this Lou signing pushes them over the top and makes them a lock for one of the eight berths in the postseason.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?