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What does Shaq in Boston say about Atlanta? Well, it's not good.

Aug 4, 2010, 5:58 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Hawks_loss.jpgAtlanta’s management felt the Hawks got pushed around by the Orlando Magic when they were swept out of the playoffs last year. Because they were.

So what did they do about it?

Nothing, really. I like Josh Powell, he is a better player than he gets credit for (he’s solid as a role player off the bench) and he has maybe the best iPod playlist in the league. Powell now has a couple of rings. But that experience and playlist are not bringing rings to Atlanta.

The Hawks did go after Shaquille O’Neal, but the ownership — a consortium of investors GM Rick Sund has to get on the same page for major decisions — would not make the serious commitment, according to Jeff Schultz at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Boston had the more title ready team — they have just been to the finals — so Atlanta needed to make a bigger financial commitment.

The Hawks can be an entertaining team. But they’re also a flawed one. Signing Josh Powell and Jason Collins doesn’t cure their size problem in the post. Al Horford is playing out of position. This decision more likely ensures that they again will be the No. 4 playoff seed in the East and exit in the second round.

How much of this is the result of money? A lot. Ownership and general manager Rick Sund did not want to go into a tax situation with the salary cap. That meant not doing anything of significance to improve the team in free agency this offseason (other than overpaying to keep Joe Johnson).

The Hawks have $67 million in committed salary for 12 players right now (via Sham Sports). Throw in the cap holds and they are at the tax line of $70 million. By the time the Hawks sign a couple more minimum salary guys to round out the roster, they will be flirting with the tax line.

Shaq could have put them over that line. And what he has left as a player may not have taken the Hawks any farther in the playoffs.

But the fact is the East got better. Orlando, Miami and Boston are contenders. Chicago is nipping at their heels. Milwaukee is going to be right there, maybe just a step back. Atlanta may well be the four or five seed going into the playoffs again, but then what?

Then they get what they paid for.

  1. Filipe - Aug 4, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Hawks can’t be a top 4 seed anymore. Division winners have to get a top 4 seed, so either Bucks or Bulls will get a top seed and Hawks only shot is if Lebron, Wade or Howard get hurt.

  2. Filipe is an idiot - Aug 4, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    To Filipe: Wrong. Check your facts before you permanently show your stupidity on the internet forever, bro.

  3. Kirk - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Sorry to go on after the last 2 nut cases; they must be Hawk executives !
    Kurt,
    How can you say those things …. Atlanta solved their problem of not having a center …. they fired their coach !
    The mind is a dangerous thang.

  4. YourMomHasAnAdamsApple - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    And Filipe has changed his name to Anonymous. Nice.

  5. Bob - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    Regardless of how incorrect Filipe may have been about playoff seeding, the Bulls and Bucks are in better position than the Hawks. More depth, better center play. Hell, the Bucks took Atlanta to seven without their best player. The media, this site included, has a habit of talking out their ass and this blog has not proven to be an exception. I don’t see any real improvement from the east after these teams, though, so I’m guessing ATL comes in 6th and is a first round underdog.

  6. Drew - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    I think this is a year when the Hawks start to decline just a little bit. They have basically the same team, but knowing they didn’t really get better and having been blown out of the water by Orlando in the playoffs, I think a bit of a malaise will set in. They’ll win some games with talent, coast into the playoffs as a 5 or 6 seed and bow out in the first round. Then, wholesale changes will be made next summer.

  7. Drew - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    I think this is a year when the Hawks start to decline just a little bit. They have basically the same team, but knowing they didn’t really get better and having been blown out of the water by Orlando in the playoffs, I think a bit of a malaise will set in. They’ll win some games with talent, coast into the playoffs as a 5 or 6 seed and bow out in the first round. Then, wholesale changes will be made next summer.

  8. pat gray, cavendish, vermont - Aug 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Shaq is gonna be awesome in Bostson. He might even take Youkilis’ spot at 1st base for the Sox!

  9. i_am_soulstar - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Atlanta was the 3rd seed last year FYI.

  10. stsfo - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Since the last post is about a year old, I will bring things up to date. The Mavericks beat the Heat for the NBA Title. So that takes care of the 2011 basketball season. As a sports fan, and a Heat fan I was pretty disappointed in the out come. And the sports fan shop in Miami were disappointted too. http://stfos.com

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