For the first time since perhaps the days of the Human Highlight Film, people soon might actually want to go to Atlanta and check out the Hawks. The basketball team, stuck in the longest “decent but never good enough to scare anyone” mode of any NBA team, possibly ever, is apparently going to go after Dwight Howard if he becomes available as a free agent next summer. Since Howard can’t make up his mind and new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan struggles with the idea behind the word “trade,” the chances Howard plays out the year in Disney World, the Magic have the most dysfunctional NBA season we’ve ever seen, Dwight beats up three or four different Disney characters and ends up FINALLY leaving next summer are looking stronger than ever. The Hawks selfishly hope so. They’re home to the big man, and one of their best players (Josh Smith) happens to be one of Dwight Howard’s best friends. Atlanta tried to get him last summer via trade, but HOOPSWORLD reports that the Magic weren’t quite ready to start over. Thanks to GM Danny Ferry, Atlanta now has the money to sign him outright, and even added another one of Dwight’s best friends – Anthony Morrow (ironically, he also came in the Nets deal). Could a team revolving around a frontline featuring Howard, Smith and Al Horford (they might not be able to keep him if they picked up Howard) compete for a title? If we were building a team from scratch in this day and age where everything revolves around dribble penetration and breaking down a defense, we’d probably start with the perimeter game. But athletically, those three guys together are probably more impressive than half of the teams in the NBA. They’d make Atlanta the best defensive team in the league, and a nightmare to score against … The U.S. National Team continues their quest for gold this afternoon against Australia, and even though Patty Mills and Co. are going into the game just hoping they don’t shrink-wrapped into elimination, there’s a little game within the game going on. Pau Gasol, who is tied with Mills as the leading scorer in the Olympics at 20.6 points a night, is looking to tie Oscar Schmidt, a Brazilian legend, by leading the Olympics in scoring for a third time. Mills is going to get more attention by that USA defense than Ines Sainz in a New York locker room, and if the Americans do indeed cut the head off the snake, Gasol could be on his way to the record. Some media is speculating the Americans will put Kobe on Mills, which is just an awful idea. What about Chris Paul? Or Deron Williams, for short instances? Bryant is a far cry from the menace who dominated defensively with the USA Team in the 2007 and 2008 summers. Mills would blow by him. If they really want to put the clamps on the man who runs it all for the Aussies, just throw LeBron on him and watch Mills’ game melt away … Keep reading to hear what Avery Bradley said about Ray Allen …
Smack / Aug 7, 2012 / 9:45 pm
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