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Every single big man on the Hawks, besides the useless Johan Petro, is either clearly undersized or named "Zaza" (I don't have a preference). This is where the real damage needs to be done for the Hawks.
Along with Josh Smith close to becoming an MVP candidate, they'd need Ivan Johnson to reach his full potential. While he's only in his second season, "Ivan the Terrible" is 28 years old. Last year he averaged roughly 13 PPG, 8 RPG, and 2 SPG in his per-36 stats while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
I saw enough of him to say that he could average more like 16 PPG and RPG with his two steals and some of the best hustle you'll see on a basketball court. Basically, if he can improve into one of the best bench bigs in the league, the Hawks will be well off.
There is no reason to believe that contributions from Virginia rookie Mike Scott are impossible either.
Scott is one of the best inside scorers in his draft class and is about as NBA-ready as any second rounder you'll ever find. Like Johnson, he's a gritty 6'8" rebounder and defender, although not quite as good at either as Johnson. But he's a better scorer, or at least would be if the Hawks ever needed to run him a play. Scott was one of the NCAA's better back-to-the-basket and pick-and-roll threats, and he should be there in case the Hawks ever need to catch a team's defense by surprise.
Johan Petro, the team's only seven-footer, has it in him to be good enough to get by as a backup center. Zaza Pachulia, unfortunately, would be a very important player. Last season, Zaza averaged eight points and rebounds per game in 28 MPG, a double-double in starter's minutes. He is also a good passer and defender at his position.
He still has room to grow offensively, and the Hawks would love for him to be a threat so they could go huge with him, Al Horford, Smith and Korver all on the court at the same time.
The final key cog in the Hawks' lineup is All-Star center Al Horford. When healthy, Horford, who is really a power forward, is arguably the third best center in the league. He sat out almost all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, but in 2010-11, he averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, and almost four assists per game, while shooting 56 percent from the field and being an above-average defensive player.
All this as a 6'10" power forward with a small, albeit strong, frame. Imagine what he could do getting 10 to 20 MPG at power forward.
Regardless, Horford has the skill, versatility, consistency, work ethic and body to average something like 18 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists per game with his same efficiency. He also has more room to grow on defense.
Call me crazy, but if he realized his full potential next season, Atlanta could be home to both post players in the Eastern Conference's starting All-Star squad.