Friday, November 16, 2007

Opposing View: 11/16 at Atlanta

All season long, Sonics Beat will be consulting an expert on the opposing team as part our gameday preview. boasts one of the best in the business in Micah Hart, and he was happy to answer our five questions. I also answered five questions about the Sonics, and you can link from there to a video breakdown of the Sonics by Atlanta assistant David Fizdale. I'd also suggest checking out's Blog Roundtable, which you can follow to plenty of Hawks blogs.

On a scale of 1-10, how exciting was having the Hawks beat Dallas and Phoenix in their first two home games?
I give it a solid 10 out of 10 - not only because we beat two of the titans of the league right out of the gate, but also because the games played to raucous, sellout crowds that gave a glimpse for what kind of place this has the potential to be if we start winning regularly. Those wins were great because neither of those teams lost because of poor play - we just went toe-to-toe with them and were the better team in each contest.

Will this be a breakout year for Bremerton's Marvin Williams?
It is certainly looking that way. His confidence is through the roof right now, and the way he is shooting (57%!), you are almost surprised when one of his patented mid-range jumpers doesn't go in. As great as he has been shooting though, the best development in his game has been his aggressiveness, as he has repeatedly been driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line. With all the attention teams pay to Joe Johnson, adding him as a perimeter threat is absolutely crucial to the team's success.

What have you seen from the Hawks rookies?
The Hawks couldn't be happier with the production from Al Horford and Acie Law thus far. Horford has been everything the team expected and more on the low post, and I'm not so certain he won't give your boy KD a run for his money for Rookie of the Year honors. Acie has battled injuries a bit (including a sprained ankle suffered Wednesday when the Bobcats' Ryan Hollins landed on him well after a play was over), but he has shown incredible poise for a first year point guard. Atlanta is in great shape with both of these guys for the future, and the fans couldn't be more excited about the both of them.

Last year's Highlight Factory intro video is legendary. Which Hawks player had your favorite entrance?
I always got a kick out of Josh Childress. Anything involving his 'fro always makes for good times.

No, I'm sorry. The correct answer was Zaza Pachulia. Zaza's the best! What's one thing we don't know but should about the Hawks?
This could be a very dangerous team by season's end. As I am sure the Sonics will find out in the next couple of seasons, a young basketball team can be very maddening, even one with a lot of talent. Confidence is a huge, huge component of success in the NBA, and the Hawks have suffered for a lack of it in the past. But the team has been together for a few years now, and as we saw with the wins over Phoenix and Dallas, is capable of playing at a very high level. If their confidence continues to grow, they could really make some noise in the Eastern Conference.