Running with Zaza

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Hawks Make Big Trade Deadline Move!

Have you been wondering where in the world James White plays basketball? The former Cincinnati Bearcat star is the best player on the Anaheim Arsenal of the D-League. He had 35 points last night in a big overtime win.

I know this because I was checking out the teammates of new Arsenal big man and former Hawk Othello Hunter. Hawks’ fans have been throwing down shots of Jameson this week to celebrate the big move that has given the Hawks a chance to win the Eastern Conference. The Hawks designated Othello Hunter for assignment to the Anaheim Arsenal of the D-League!

Think back to September – October 2007…Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was complaining that the Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak was not doing enough to win a championship. It looked like Kupchak’s career was nearing an end with the Lakers. Then, in February 2008, Kupchak robbed the Memphis Grizzlies of Pau Gasol. Today, the Lakers are playing great basketball and have the deepest team in the NBA.

Today, Atlanta Hawks’ GM Rick Sund could have made a similar deal. He could have made a deal for a superstar to be the face of this franchise. Instead, the big news this week for the Hawks was that Othello Hunter was sent to the D-League. Is it Sund’s fault? No, the problem with the Hawks is the ridiculous management situation. Blame Steve Belkin, Michael Gearon, and the rest. Blame David Stern for letting this charade go on for so long.

Okay, I am joking. Really, Hawks fans are seeing the door close on a chance to make a trade to get them into contention for the Eastern Conference championship. If you read this blog, you know that I think the Hawks’ roster is built for the playoffs. Bibby and Marvin playing for contracts make the playoff roster even more interesting. I am confident Atlanta will beat Detroit or Miami in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

I also am confident that the Hawks with their current roster cannot beat the Celtics, Magic, or Cavs. The next few road games will provide a tough test, and we will see what the Hawks can do against tough teams. A few days back I proposed a trade to get the Hawks to the next level. I posted the editorial to another web site. With over 200 reads and some negative comments, here are a couple of my comments in response to the comments:

First of all, if you check out the stats, Josh Smith and Carmelo are close to even. Carmelo is obviously the better scorer and offensive player, but Smith has some advantages. He is younger, more athletic, and has a much more manageable contract. Plus, he has not already tuned out George Karl. Get Smith away from ATL and he might blossom.

Joe Johnson is one of my favorite Hawks, but he is a number 2--a Robin or Ed McMahon if you will. Melo would come in here as the face of the Hawks. He would take all the pressure of Joe. Melo would be the number 1 option and he would put sizzle in Philips Arena. The stars of Atlanta would be at these games.

Think about this match up in the 2nd round of this year's NBA playoffs:

Bibby, Joe, Melo, Horford, and Zaza versus Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, and Perkins.

I actually like Atlanta's starting five better on the offensive end. As always, Garnett's desire would be the X-factor. But can Paul Pierce guard Melo? Can Allen guard JJ? Allen could not get the job done against the Hawks in last year's playoffs.

Hawks’ bloggers and fans only can dream of a Melo and Joe Johnson combination. Really, no one cares. There are only two sports talk radio shows in this town and today they combined to talk about the Hawks for about 14 minutes. The derth of NBA talk and buzz in this town is disheartening. Okay, let me go watch Jeopardy.


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