The Braves gave Atlanta its first championship since Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz won a World Series more than 25 years ago in November. Sixty-nine days later, the Georgia Bulldogs gave the city another championship. It has been a long time coming for Georgia sports, but especially for the Hawks, whose lone title came in 1958 when the franchise was located in St. Louis.
After making it to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago, many believed we were entering Georgia’s Golden Age of sports. The Braves, Dawgs, and Hawks were all within striking distance of their respective championships. For the most part, we weren’t wrong, but even after finishing just a couple of games shy of the NBA Finals last season, all is not right inside State Farm Arena.
The Hawks’ disconcerting effort on defense is becoming more and more frustrating as the team falls further and further below .500. They have had their fair share of injuries and COVID-19 absences, but the rest of the Association has as well. There seems to be no pride or effort with this team, which was the team’s mantra a season ago.
As the trade deadline approaches, we are reaching a boiling point. John Collins is reportedly frustrated with his role on the Hawks; furthermore, Travis Schlenk didn’t mince words about his displeasure of the team’s performances, noting that several moves are on the horizon. Those trade rumors have included Ben Simmons and could be centered around Collins with a two-for-one structure to clear up the logjam on the bench.
It isn’t a question of whether the Hawks will make a move before the deadline; it is a matter of when Schlenk will pull the trigger. On 92.9 The Game Tuesday morning, Schlenk referenced the Braves midseason additions and how that propelled them to the World Series. Perhaps he will attempt to do something similar with the Hawks.
The Hawks have time to figure things out, and it might take a blockbuster trade for someone like Simmons to do so; however, the issues aren’t going to solve themselves. There must be a change on some level — personnel, coaching, etc.
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