2012-2013 Atlanta Hawks Roles Defined: Deshawn Stevenson
Deshawn Stevenson was relegated to obscurity and towel waving for the majority of the 2011-2012 season. The Brooklyn Nets were decimated by injuries and they needed a million other things before they even considering the skills that Stevenson provides.
In 2012-2013 the Atlanta Hawks may be the perfect team for Stevenson to exhibit his skill-set. The Hawks haven’t had an enforcer in a while. Though Ivan Johnson put forth full effort last year in order to do so, his tactics need some harnessing.
Stevenson, despite his tough guys antics has never been one for trouble. He isn’t habitual technical foul guy. He isn’t a distraction for his team. He just gets under perimeter guys skin and makes awful decisions when it comes to tattoos. He provides toughness, he provides a spark. He is physically strong, he is an effective distance shooter, and he is probably the most physical defender on the perimeter not named Metta World Peace or LeBron James.
Stevenson will give Josh Smith much needed defensive spells. He will spread the court along with Kyle Korver and he require that the Hawks play tough, something they have omitted from their requirement sheet the last few post seasons.
I am officially praying for a Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks showdown in the first round of the 2013 post season. If ever there was a player that could get under LeBron’s skin while also matching him physically, its Stevenson.
Much like Ruben Patterson antagonized Kobe Bryant years ago, Stevenson found his claim to fame tormenting (effectively) LeBron.
Projected Stats: 4.7ppg 2.1rpg 1.4apg .8sttls
His impact will be far greater than any stats will indicate.