2006 Atlanta Hawks Preview
Welcome to the 2006 Atlanta Hawks NBA Preview from Maddux Sports. The regular season opens up October 31st and now is the time to study up on this years teams. If you regularly wager on the NBA our handicappers for Expert NBA Picks and check out the NBA Spreads page to compare odds and increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Atlanta Hawks Basketball Season Preview
Coach Mike Woodson enters his third season at the helm, looking to improve over the 26 wins his team notched last year. The Hawks made one major acquisition during the off-season— free agent point guard Speedy Claxton (12.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, 41.3 FG%, 76.9 FT%).
Former Hornet Claxton, a six-year veteran, is a playmaker and a sound defender. He should relieve shooting guard Joe Johnson (20.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.5 APG, 45.3 FG%, 79.1 FT%) of on-court supervising. Johnson is an excellent shooter and defender with the ability to roam and generate offense. Salim Stoudamire (9.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 41.3 FG%, 76.9 FT%) is back from injury and should be a dependable contributor.
At forward, the Hawks are young. Small forward Marvin Williams (8.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 44.3 FG%, 74.7 FT%) starts his second season and power forward Josh Smith (11.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 42.5 FG%, 71.9 FT%) his third. Williams, who is only 19, has star potential. He possesses a smooth, accurate shot but isn’t hefty enough to bang inside consistently. Smith put in a good sophomore season. Look for them to replace Al Harrington’s (now a Pacer) points. The Hawks want rookie and fifth overall draft pick Sheldon Williams (Duke) to contribute immediately. Along with a fine shot, he can block and rebound.
Zaza Pachulia (11.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.7 APG, 45.1 FG%, 73.5 FT%) is at center. Pachulia, who’s more of a power forward, shoots well but can’t play above the rim. Maybe rookie Solomon Jones (South Florida) can help in a year or two. The Hawks need backup at center.
Coach Woodson is slowly putting together a team that can defend and run. Woodson’s a tough coach but the players seem to have taken to him. The 26 wins last season were twice as many as the Hawks had the year before!
The team has improved but still lacks size and depth. Injury will be devastating to the starting five. They may be able to slip into the post-season, but I wouldn’t bet on it.