The Atlanta Hawks enter the All-Star Break with a 34-21 mark, good for fifth in the East. As of right now, they’d be slotted to face Orlando in the first round, and given the way the standings look, that might very well be the first-round matchup (although who gets the home court is up in the air. Atlanta is a game back, but even in the loss column). As for the state of the team, it’s been inconsistent. In the early part of the year, they couldn’t beat anybody with a winning record, and while that’s turned around somewhat, now they’re being plagued by home games where they haven’t showed up. That’s why this current seven-game road trip (of which they’re 1-1 following a loss to the Knicks last night) is perfectly timed. Joe Johnson is playing well, and Josh Smith is showing signs of taking better shot selections. Marvin Williams has been a nonfactor (he gets the injury excuse), while Al Horford’s back problems are concerning me. He was very productive scoring and doing the hard defensive work.
The real problem is at home, specifically the attendance figures. Despite a contending club, Atlanta is in the bottom of the league. But here we can identify the cause. Usually a player turns off the fans, or a coach, but the ownership group, the Atlanta (Lack of Team) Spirit. I’ve been criticizing these guys at every turn, but it’s so easy and true. These guys have no idea what they’re doing, making them the most dysfunctional owners in the league (and since the NBA still has Donald Sterling, that’s saying something). They’re losing money hand over fist and, in a refreshing show of honesty, not to mention begging, are pleading for outside investors to give them a lifeline. It’s like I said earlier, if these guys don’t care, why should a normal fan?
But lest it be sad that I am just a criticizer who offers no solutions, I have one. It’s two words. Dunk Tank. Here’s the premise. $20. 3 balls. What fan wouldn’t love to put these guys in their tailored suit right in the drink? It’s a perfect way to garner a little spending money. The only thing that it would require on their part is a complete loss of dignity, but that’s okay, they’ve lost their esteem and respect, so dignity is actually a very short step.
In all seriousness, there is another hope for the Atlanta hockey fan who doesn’t want to see fellow Philips Arena mate the Thrashers get sold off like at a yard sale and shipped to somewhere in Canada, and that’s NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. If the Thrashers leave, then his bold (and somewhat failing) strategy of giving the sport an inroad in the South goes bye-bye. The Southeast Division would get reduced to four (unless you move Dallas in), and he would have substantial egg on his face. I look for him to get personally involved in finding investors or a buyer who will commit to keeping the franchise here. The league might even get caretaker status until he can accomplish this. I’d better send him a resume.
Anyway, the Hawks will spend next week after the festivities in Los Angeles (never did called to blog from Staples Center. Nuts) on the West Coast. I’ll be there too, or in Las Vegas anyway. Family vacation, and it’ll be nice to get away. Take care everyone.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.