Gripping the Ace by His Talons
The pre-season games have already begun and teams are now striving to get back in 100-percent form. But as for Philips Arena, Atlanta Hawks fans are a little less than optimistic. The last two seasons were a little shaky to say the least, losing one star after another. Their former leader Joe Johnson is now one of Brooklyn’s and just this off-season, Josh Smith decided to move to Detroit. With two of their pair of aces now out of the picture, a new leader must emerge from the kettle.
But this isn’t decided by a roll of the dice. After Smith decided to play as a Piston, Hawks fans saw this as an opportunity for Al Horford to step up and anchor the team. But as head coach Mike Budenholzer points it out, the team’s point guard Jeff Teague should lead the team this season. Like a poker pro who holds dearly to a pair of aces, Budenholzer’s trust to his point guard and middleman is something to be optimistic about. With only seven players remaining from the previous roster, the team is back to scratch. But is this lucky seven a blessing in disguise?
The Hawks may not be a large franchise compared to the likes of Los Angeles or Miami where basketball stars, high rollers, arcade fans, and entertainment moguls usually thrive, but the team’s long tradition of winning is not something to be underestimated.
One pundit argues that a strength of the team can often be reflected from the list of its sponsors. And the Hawks are fairly good at that. The Hawks’ annual Casino Night is a regular event, which shows the strength of the team not only on the court but outside the stadiums as well. Entertainment giants are always putting their money on prospected playoff contenders. Bet Fair’s long list of online gaming portals and entertainment partnerships with sports entities is a testament to the strength of sports teams as potent tools for advertising. It’s a whole new team again. And we can thank the team’s General Manager Danny Ferry. Ferry was the former vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs and his experience in the building a competitive roster parallels that of a card shark who are tactical experts in creating a full house of a flush. With Paul Millsap, Elton Brand, and also former German pro player Dennis Schroeder as key additions, the Hawks just might have the right set of cards to make a good hand in the playoffs.