By now everybody expected Jason Kidd to be wearing a Dallas Mavericks jersey. Here we are days later and it’s not the Mavericks making the next big move, it’s the Atlanta Hawks. Jason Kidd isn’t the point guard on the move; it’s Mike Bibby.
The Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks have agreed on a trade that would send Mike Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Lorenzen Wright and Shelden Williams.
The Atlanta Hawks were already better than people thought. For the first 35 games of the season the Atlanta Hawks were playing over .500. Suddenly the young Atlanta Hawks have hit a wall and have started to fall down the standings. They are now in a three way tie for the 7th and 8th, the last two playoff spots, and 9th place.
It wasn’t a lack of talent that was hurting the Atlanta Hawks though. Maybe my sunglasses with the Florida Gators logo is impairing my judgment but honestly I think Al Horford has been the best rookie in the NBA this season, even better than Kevin Durant. Durant can score, that’s great, but Al Horford has gone toe-to-toe down low with the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Pau Gasol and even Tim Duncan, and so far nobody has been able to push him around. Al Horford is close to averaging at double-double for the Atlanta Hawks. If Al Horford does get to double digit scoring then he’d be among about a dozen guys that average a double-double. He’d be in the company of guys like Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, Dwight Howard and Carlos Boozer.
It was a welcome surprise to see Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks make the All-Star team. Johnson hasn’t gotten much attention since leaving Phoenix for Atlanta but he has been carrying the Hawks offensively some nights.
Former Slam Dunk winner Joe Smith has continued to improve over the years and leads the Atlanta Hawks in steals and blocks and is second in scoring. The Atlanta Hawks also get double digit scoring from Marvin Williams and Josh Childress. The Atlanta Hawks other first round draft pick, Acie Law, is starting to come around as he had his two best games of the season in the past week.
The Atlanta Hawks have talent, but they’re missing a few things:
The Sacramento Kings have taken those three things, combined them, put them in a Michael Bibby shaped package and delivered it to the Atlanta Hawks. Mike Bibby is a perfect fit for the Atlanta Hawks.
Does this make the Atlanta Hawks a contender in the Eastern Conference? Of course not. But Mike Bibby very well could turn this Atlanta Hawks team into a winning team and a team with a winning record is safely into the playoffs by a few spots in the Eastern Conference. If the Atlanta Hawks can climb as high as fifth or sixth and avoid the Detroit Pistons or Boston Celtics in the first round then I wouldn’t put it past the Hawks to upset the Orlando Magic or the Cleveland Cavs in the first round.
Maybe simply having a winning record or simply winning in the first round of the playoffs doesn’t sound like much but it is for Atlanta Hawks fans. The last time the Atlanta Hawks had a winning record or went to the playoffs was in the shortened ’98 – ’99 season.