5 Sneaky-Good Situational Lineups for the Atlanta Hawks

Hunter Konsens@HunterKonsensCorrespondent IISeptember 7, 2012

5 Sneaky-Good Situational Lineups for the Atlanta Hawks

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    The Atlanta Hawks haven't been considered an elite team in years, but that's not to say the roster doesn't possess any talented lineups. In fact, this franchise could do some major damage this season, despite the absence of perennial All-Star Joe Johnson.

    While shipping their franchise cornerstone to the Brooklyn Nets for essentially future cap space will almost surely hurt next year's overall record, there is no denying this franchise has the tools to upset some elite opponents, maybe finding enough success to experience postseason action.

    Losing Johnson is a big blow, albeit necessary, but that doesn't mean the team doesn't possess depth on the roster. In fact, this team may have one of the deepest benches in the Eastern Conference, which has been becoming stronger the past few years.

Starting Lineup

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    Point Guard: Devin Harris

    Shooting Guard: Anthony Morrow

    Small Forward: Kyle Korver

    Power Forward: Josh Smith

    Center: Al Horford

    On first glance, two glaring observations will most likely be deduced: This lineup is small, yet talented, and needs a quality starting small forward.

    Kyle Korver is a solid rotation player off the bench, but definitely shouldn't be starting at this stage of his career. Not only will defenses pick on the 31-year-old sharpshooter, but the former Bull has become a one-trick pony. If the three-ball isn't dropping consistently, there is no point playing the forward.

    The guard positions aren't set in stone, either.

    Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris are both solid guards, but both have solid backups waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce into the starting unit. The trio of Lou Williams, Jeff Teague and rookie John Jenkins is quite talented, and there is no denying every one of those players can contribute next season, whether it be as a starter or off the bench.

    Josh Smith and Al Horford will anchor this revamped starting lineup. Horford, who is coming off a torn pectoral injury, should be fully healthy this time around, and expect major production from the former All-Star.

    Smith, on the other hand, should finally be named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. His versatility coupled with his talent and athleticism will surely make him a hard forward to cover.

Big Lineup

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    Point Guard: John Jenkins

    Shooting Guard: Kyle Korver

    Small Forward: Josh Smith

    Power Forward: Al Horford

    Center: Zaza Pachulia

    There are going to be a few times this season where Larry Drew is going to have to roll with a larger lineup for situational purposes. Against the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, who will boast the tandem of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, and the Indiana Pacers, home of Roy Hibbert, it would be a wise move to combat their size with size available on the Hawks' own roster.

    The above lineup isn't just tall, as it has an average height of 6'9", but also quite talented.

    With stars Josh Smith and Al Horford paired with the triumvirate of Pachulia, Korver and Jenkins, this lineup will not only be able to defend effectively, but also score in bunches.

Small Lineup

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    Point Guard: Jeff Teague

    Shooting Guard: Lou Williams

    Small Forward: DeShawn Stevenson

    Power Forward: Josh Smith

    Center: Al Horford

    The NBA is gravitating towards a league where small lineups reign supreme. Just look at the Miami Heat, who really have no true center presence on the roster. Nonetheless, the Hawks need to be ready to battle against teams such as the Heat, and using a small lineup will give them the best chances to topple them.

    The guards in this unit are spectacular. Both Teague and Williams are lightning quick and fantastic penetrators. These two will be relied upon to score the basketball in the lineup.

    Stevenson will have the task of defending the opponent team's best perimeter scorer. His gritty defense will make life difficult for his opponent. 

    Rounding out this group will be Smith and Horford. Both are nimble on their feet, allowing them to avoid slowing the team down.

    This team, simply put, is built for speed.

Three-Point Lineup

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    Point Guard: Lou Williams 

    Shooting Guard: John Jenkins

    Small Forward: Anthony Morrow

    Power Forward: Kyle Korver

    Center: Josh Smith

    I wouldn't advise using this lineup often or for long periods at a time, but if the team needs a three or just a jumpstart on offense this unit would do wonders. Williams and Morrow are both dead-eye shooters from behind the arc, and John Jenkins was considered one of the better, if not the best, marksman coming out of college.

    A big man unit of Kyle Korver and Josh Smith is small, but there is no denying its scoring prowess. Both can knock down the open three. Additionally, the floor spacing would be tremendous, allowing Smith free rein to take his man off the dribble.

Defensive Lineup

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    Point Guard: Jeff Teague

    Shooting Guard: Anthony Morrow

    Small Forward: DeShawn Stevenson 

    Power Forward: Josh Smith

    Center: Al Horford

    Need a quick defensive stop to stay in the game? Having difficulty containing the opposing team's offense? This is the lineup you must utilize, coach Larry Drew.

    This squad is athletic and full of lockdown defenders. Stevenson and Smith headline this group defensively. Both can guard multiple positions and shut down high-octane scoring opponents. 

    Horford is a big body who will be heavily relied on to attack the boards. Both Morrow and Teague will be in charge of putting pressure on the ball, causing forced turnovers and bad decisions.

    This will be one hard lineup to score on.