When a town chooses a name for its NBA team it is usually because that name embodies the spirit of that team. The Spurs and Mavericks remind you of the wide open west; the Jazz will play a precision tune with their execution and tough gritty nature. The Celtics with the rough stubborn attitude of the Irish, and the Hornets for their sting.
So what happened to the Hawks? Hawks swoop in on their prey and attack with relentless abandon, leaving little evidence behind except carnage. Every now and then you catch glimpses of that with Josh Smiths' ferocious dunks and Joe Johnson's sweet jump shot.
The young Hawks appeared to have left the aviary too soon; the lessons learned from their battle with Boston has not translated well into this playoff season. Their idea of team play is seeing who can get a jumper or a dunk quicker.
Both Johnson and Smith were no shows in games one and two in the second round. The destructive nature with which they lost saw them giving up before half-time. Flip Murray waved off his teammates because he did not want the ball. He also tried to dribble between the Cavs collapsing defense in the paint.
Johnson, for all his awards, has a game that screams anchor man; he just wants to be in the background.
Josh Smith's game is as wild as his attempted between the legs dunk that he missed. Four years in the league and you can put all his basketball knowledge on my pinky toe.
Mike Bibby has this look that says: is it over yet? How else can you explain him refusing to discuss a contract extension with a team that has made the playoffs two years in a row. Hmm, will he accept less money to be a backup to Rondo next year?
Al Horford is the most mature next to Bibby, he plays his heart out and tries to be a leader by finding outside sources of motivation. Maybe if they get rid of Smith then he and Johnson would make a nice one two tandem.
We will never know if Mike Woodson is a decent coach because I believe he has no input on personnel matters.
We know Atlanta will not win this series, but at least let the national viewing audience believe that you are competing. Major changes are required in this off season because this team is just plain stagnant.