Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Gameday Links

Unless I've miscalculated, a Raptors win and a Pacers loss clinches a playoff spot for Toronto. For this first time in more than a week Atlanta will face an opponent playing for something. I expect tonight's game, the Friday/Saturday back-to-back versus the 76ers, and next Tuesday's game at Indiana, will generate some excitement about the near-inevitable playoff berth regardless of the small probability of post-season success. Assuming, of course, that the Hawks play well.

And now, the links...

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I still expect the Hawks to find a way to lose enough of their remaining games to miss the playoffs. Otoh, it would require Indiana and New Jersey to win a few games for that to happen, so maybe Atlanta is pretty much a lock.

The positive way to look at the situation is we make the playoffs with a losing record this year. That's better than we've done in almost a decade. Then next year we make the playoffs with a .500 or better record (hopefully). Finally in the '09-10 season we make the playoffs with a good record and a chance to advance. All of which depends of course on tweaking the roster, getting a better coaching staff and a better GM, and dysfunctional ownership not screwing up everything somehow.

But for the first time in quite a while being a Hawks fan is not the worst thing to be. It could be worse. We could be Knicks fans for instance.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Al Horford win Rookie of the Month. At this point he seems almost a certainty to win Rookie of the Year, and it is will deserved. I do need to reassess my evaluation of Kevin Durant, though. Over the past month, his shooting percentage showed a marked improvement. He also scored over 20 points almost every night.

I believed, after his struggles earlier in the season, that he was going to take some development due to his skinny frame, and the fact that he wasn't an obvious fit at any position. I still think he's going to improve, but in March, he arrived as a star player. He's got long arms and big hands which make him useful (if not solid) on defense, and he can definately score in a variety of ways. He's stopped taking too many deep jump shots which hurt his team.

The areas where I think he needs to (and will) improve are in assists and rebounding. 6'9 with really long arms should mean more than four boards a game. And he touches the ball pretty much every possession, so he should be getting somewhere from 3.5-4.5 assists per game. If he does that, he'll be among the best in the league.

In short, I think Al Horford had the better first season, but I expect it will be the only time in their careers we'll say that.