After training camps, scrimmages, and a few new captains, basketball is alive in the city again. Josh Smith was named one of the team’s captains this season, and looks new Head Coach Larry Drew is making a statement from the beginning. In the Drew’s new offense Smith is going to have more responsibility, initiating the offense and becoming a leader. Smith has matured both on and off the court, and came into camp in shape and ready to play. J-Smoove is quoted saying, “‘I definitely have to carry myself in a whole different fashion because when you are captain you have to be more of a leader. I have to lead by example. I am an emotional player, obviously. Everybody knows that. But [I] just kind of have to hold my emotions together and just play basketball and stay positive throughout the game, no matter what happens.” As with all basketball camps from high school to the pros, week one was mainly conditioning. Even though a few guards (names were not stated) did not make the required time, Drew was overall satisfied with the results.
Larry Drew has even brought out the old bull-dog former NBA All-Star Nick Van Exle to teach new dog Jeff Teague a few tricks. The Hawks want Teague to be more aggressive, so they brought Van Exle one of the league’s most profound players to teach him. Teague aggressiveness and emotion is starting to show after guarding Veteran Mike Bibby. Mike Bibby called a foul that Teague did not agree upon, and Teague vented loudly (and playfully) and continued to play hard.
Looks like the Hawks will be pushing the ball up-tempo, Al Horford (also named captain) and Josh Smith will have opportunities to showcase their abilities with their size and quickness if the Hawks commit to pushing the ball. The Hawks may shock a few teams, but will have to rely on each other. The Atlanta Dream’s playoff run, has added some excitement to basketball, and the Hawks will surely capitalize. As the old saying goes, let the games begin!