As the first dozen games have shown, the Hawks are athletic and so much more.
Originally Published: November 18, 2009By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
It happened before every game -- the go-to, garden-variety backhanded compliment that every opposing coach used in the pregame media session when they were trying to say nice things about the Hawks. Left unsaid were things like, "They know how to play", "They have a lot of smart veterans", "They play hard every night" and "There's no obvious place to attack them." That was the old days, when the Hawks were a lottery team destined to become another speed bump for whatever quality opponent was visiting -- provided they didn't stay out too late in Buckhead the night before. Sure, the Hawks had athleticism, but for good teams that wouldn't matter if they took the event seriously.