So we have all accepted that the season is over for the Atlanta Hawks. We have gotten over being angry about how it all went down (kinda!) and now it is time to review the season that was. Over the next few days we plan to issue grades to Atlanta Hawks players, Coach Larry Drew and GM Rick Sund. From there, we will look forward to project the future with draft picks, free agent options and possible front office personnel changes. Today, we take a look at GM Rick Sund and Coach Larry Drew. We offer our end of the season grades and encourage you to do the same in the comments section, as we would like to hear what you thought about what took place this season.
General Manager Rick Sund: The core roster was already in place when Rick Sund joined the Hawks; Joe, Josh, Marvin, Al and Zaza have all been familiar with each other for some time now. Sund worked his magic on a roster that was known to be strapped for cash. He brought in veterans who were willing to play for the minimum like Jerry Stackhouse, Vladimir Radmanovic, Jannnero Pargo, Tracy McGrady, Willie Green and Jason Collins. These guys were major contributors in various ways throughout the course of the season. Sund also found a guy who would give the Hawks a little bit of an attitude and take it to whoever happened to be in his way. As soon as fans saw Ivan Johnson they screamed, "That's what we need, right here!" When Al Horford went down and Zaza Pachulia got injured, Sund went out and signed Eric Dampier to a 10 day contract and later for the remainder of the season. Kirk Hinrich, who was added last season, brought defensive intensity after coming back from a shoulder injury. Sund put together a team with depth and talent for the 2011-2012 season. Grade: B+
Coach Larry Drew had a team that was a definite playoff contender, the only question was how far could the team go. Injuries soon set in for the Atlanta Hawks and Coach Drew had a job to do. He was given a deep, veteran bench and with all things going wrong around him the team was still able to put together a good number of wins. At times, it appeared that Coach Drew had trouble figuring out a steady rotation of players and locating the hot hand off the bench. He did not seem to get through to Josh Smith that the long jumper is not always the answer (even though J-Smoove's number of three pointers were reduced). We have yet to see the magical offense that was promised when he was hired, many times we still see the isolation offense that fans know and HATE! The team has Larry Drew's personality, he doesn't exude a lot of energy and get excited for games and so neither does the team. This Hawks team could have taken advantage of some situations and possibly beat the Celtics to go to the second round, but they did not and part of that had to do with leadership. Grade: C-
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