Atlanta Hawks: The True and False Behind the Eastern Contenders

Jamaal FosterCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2010

ATLANTA - JANUARY 29:  Josh Smith #5 and Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks against the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena on January 29, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Atlanta residents know nothing about basketball.  The past weeks have stirred up lots of discussion about Hawk basketball.

I have heard some of the most ridiculous things said and read some of the most silly things written surrounding the Atlanta Hawks.

Take this article as your basic guide to the Atlanta Hawks and stop making foolish assessments based on obvious lack of basketball knowledge.

Statement 1:  Jamal Crawford is better than Joe Johnson.  False

I'm just as excited as anyone about what Jamal Crawford can do with the ball in his hand, but you cannot hang your hat on Crawford.  He is fitting into the system perfectly for what we need.  He is a SCORER in its most unpolished form, but untested in playoff situation.  Give up Johnson and watch 10 wins walk out the door.

Statement 2:  Joe Johnson and Josh Smith can not coexist.  False

I remember when this idea first surfaced on the national scene.  It was wrong then and it is wrong now.  Joe and Josh are as complimentary as Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside.  Josh is the swagger and heart of the Hawks, while Joe is the professionalism.  If you have played or coached you know that every team needs both.

Statement 3:  The team's progress is proof the Woodson is doing a good job.  False

The only remaining players from when Coach Woodson took over this team are Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia. 

This team's improvement is in direct proportion to the talent brought in; add Josh Smith (+15 wins), add Joe Johnson (+20 wins), add Al Horford and Mike Bibby (make playoffs), have Bibby for a full season and add Maurice Evans and Flip Murray (get 4 seed and past first round).   

We have to credit ASG for being dysfunctional, Billy Knight for believing in Joe Johnson, and now, Rick Sund for going out and getting the peace we need to be contenders.

Statement 4:  You have to have a superstar to win a championship.  False

Please look at the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons.  This team does not pass the superstar taste test.  At best they have 2-3 All-Starts depending on what you call Rasheed Wallace. Sound a lot like the 2009-2010 Hawks depending on what you call Josh Smith.

Statement 5:  This team can beat the Cavs in a series.  True

If the Hawks can manage to avoid the Orlando Magic, we can make the Eastern Conference Finals.  Though we haven't figured how to execute in the stretch, we play the Cavaliers as good as anyone and can muster the upset.

That's the great thing about being a sports fan.  No matter how logical you may normally be, it gives you an opportunity to put common sense aside and just believe.

Do your thing Hawks fans, keep blogging, keep talking, and keep cheering.