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Hawks report: Getting inside

The Sports Xchange
 
Roster · Notes, quotes · Getting inside
 

Right or wrong, former Hawks guard Mike Bibby will take with him to Washington the reputation of having been Atlanta's most gregarious personality and its biggest liability.

In an effort to justify the addition of Kirk Hinrich as the Hawks' starting point guard, there will be a movement to blame Bibby, even if it is veiled, for the shortcomings at the point guard position that have plagued the team for years.

But perception isn't always reality, particularly when you're talking about the Hawks and their point guard shortcomings of the last six years.

Their woes date to draft night 2005, when the Hawks passed on Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Raymond Felton for Marvin Williams with the No. 2 overall pick. Even though Williams was considered by most to be the consensus choice at that spot, then Hawks GM Billy Knight knew his team had a gaping hole at point guard.

Still, the Hawks opted to follow the conventional-wisdom track instead of diagnosing their own issues, filling a need and dealing with the consequences. It was a strange departure for Knight, who with most every other pick of his tenure went with his gut and against the grain of the NBA pack.

The Hawks have tried nine different players at point guard in the time since that 2005 draft, and Bibby is the only one to last longer than one season as the starter. And even he had his issues, arriving at 29 and well past his best years in the league.

Hinrich comes to the Hawks at 30 and with similar numbers to Bibby's at the same stage, but with a much different profile. A no-nonsense competitor who has played the role of mentor to both Derrick Rose and John Wall in his last two stops, the Hawks assume they've rounded up the defensive version of Bibby when he was acquired at the trade deadline in 2008.

The Hawks began their current playoff run after Bibby arrived. Only time will tell if Hinrich's arrival will usher in a similar amount of success.

HAWKS 95, WARRIORS 79: The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time since the All-Star break. Old hands Josh Smith (26 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and Al Horford (22 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists) carried the night for the Hawks, who needed this win in the worst way to maintain their position in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Orlando's big win over Oklahoma City earlier in the night put the pressure on the Hawks to at least keep pace with the Magic for one of the top spots.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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