Atlanta Hawks: Front Court Will Be Improved in 2013

By Ryan Heckman


Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

This summer, the Atlanta Hawks had one guy atop their priority list: Dwight Howard. After that plan fell through, they lost out on another guy of their own when Josh Smith signed with the Detroit Pistons.

But, the good news is that the Hawks have made two very good signings to make up for their losses.

Bringing in former Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap and now former Dallas Mavericks power forward Elton Brand will give Atlanta a formidable front court as they join Al Horford down low. In fact, I think it will be even better than last season.

For the past few years, the Hawks have struggled to get the most out of Smith. The guy has plenty of talent and athleticism, but he has been more of a small forward on the court than his natural position, power forward.

Smith has consistently taken bad shots more often than not and doesn’t post up nearly as much as he should. With his size and strength, not to mention his leaping ability, Atlanta would have liked to see more post production out of him.

Going into 2013, they have a power forward that can actually hit jump shots on the regular as well as play up to par in the post. Millsap was a fantastic signing for Atlanta after getting rid of Smith. He may actually give them what they have lacked out of the post over the last several years.

Bringing in Brand is yet another excellent move for the Hawks. Off the bench, he will give them efficient minutes just as he did the Mavericks last season. At his age, he can still give you a solid 7-8 points and 5-6 rebounds in limited playing time. Atlanta may even use him a bit more than Dallas did last year, so we’ll see how he does with a few more minutes if that comes to be.

Overall, the offseason hasn’t been as terrible as some fans have thought. Getting Millsap and Brand makes up for the loss of Smith, and let’s be honest, how many fans were dying to have a controversial big man like Howard in the locker room? Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think all fans were on board with that to begin with.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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