Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Hawks

Our first team to cover. I will give you the matchups and then a quick overview of the team…

There are 60 Milwaukee/St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks teams (yay, an even number), so every team will be playing in this one. The Hawks are a great franchise, featuring Bob Pettit and the 1958 championship team, Pete Maravich in Atlanta, and the Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins headlining the Hawks franchise. Click to see the first matchup…

(1) 1987 Atlanta Hawks (57-25) vs. (60) 2005 Atlanta Hawks (13-69)

Ah… the one seed against the last seed.
The ’87 Hawks are led by Dominique Wilkins, scoring 29 a game, and Kevin Willis, with a double-double average, and flanked by Doc Rivers, another double-double machine. These guys lost in the East Semis.

The ’05 Hawks are a team “led” by Al Harrington, with a young Josh Childress and Josh Smith (he’s 19!!). Also notable, ex-double-double man Kevin Willis is on this team. This one looks quick.

(2) 1994 Atlanta Hawks (57-25) vs. (59) 1952 Milwaukee Hawks (17-49)

But this is the season Dominique got traded!?!?!?!? Yes it is. In 1994, Kevin Willis took lead role after Wilkins left, averaging a 19-12. Pretty good. On a team that ALSO lost in the East-Semis, (tell that to the 20th seeded title team), Danny Manning came over from LA (not the good one), and they also had mid-twenties Stacy Augmon, and Mookie Blaylock…not bad, but they should easily beat the….

1952 Milwaukee Hawks. This is the earliest version of the Hawks we have…and it isn’t pretty. Led by Dick Mehen (10.8 scoring), and Mel Hutchins (hey I know him!!! They can’t be THAT bad…) who had a 9-13 season. Yeah….

(3) 1968 St. Louis Hawks (56-26) vs. (58) 1954 Milwaukee Hawks (21-51)

More love for the Milwaukee Hawks! But they have to face the ’68 St. Louis Hawks, which is a pretty good team (even without Bob Pettit, who had retired a few years back). Led by Zelmo Beaty (21-12) and Lenny Wilkens (20-5-8), (a great pair) and supported by Bill Bridges, Paul Silas, and Lou Hudson, with Silas and Hudson under 25. Great team, though they lost in the West Semis.

Not only are they a great team, they have an easy matchup in the ’54 Hawks. The only person I’ve heard of is Red Holtzman, and I only know him as a coach. Don Sunderlage is the leader, averaging 11.2 points (this is pre-shot clock though…). ’54 was the year they had the round robin where every team made it, but Milwaukee was eliminated in the round robin.

(4) 1997 Atlanta Hawks (56-26) vs. (57) 2001 Atlanta Hawks (25-57)

Best years for Steve Smith, Mookie Blaylock, Christian Laettner + an above average year for Dikembe Mutombo (am I the only one that can spell Mutombo without looking? I can also spell Havlicek and Olajuwon like I’m spelling my own name) = 4th best Hawks team. Great, great year for them. Smith was averaging 20 a game, Mookie was steals leader. Laettner is having his best year 18-8. All of this constitutes the making of a great team…that lost in the East Semis. Why do all the Hawks teams lose then???? (Not that I’m a Hawks’s just funny.)

….4 years later, the Hawks suck. In their defense, they had a lot of movement (Mutombo leaves, Kukoc in etc.). Led by Jason Terry, who scored 19.7 a game, they got to 25 wins. Of people that played 50+ games, they basically have Lorenzen Wright (RIP) and he’s only good for12-8. Good luck.

(5) 1959 St. Louis Hawks (49-23) vs. (56) 2006 Atlanta Hawks (26-56)

Our first Bob Pettit led team!!!! This is the team that is defending its championship (which shouldn’t have happened...Russell got injured.) Led by (MVP) Bob Pettit, whose nearly 30 scoring average was on top of the league. Other Hall of Famers on the team include….Cliff Hagan, good for 24-11, Clyde Lovellette, 14-9, among other (old) legends. These guys only got to the West Finals before falling to the Lakers.

Facing them are the mediocre ’06 Hawks, who was led by Joe Johnson, managing 20 points a game on the Hawks this year, who was surrounded by Al Harrington (19-7), and the young’uns, Childress (22), Smith (20), Pachulia (his name is harder) (21, but was good, with an 12-8 nightly), and 19 year old Marvin Williams. They’re built for the future, not now.

(6) 1961 St. Louis Hawks (51-28) vs. (55) 2004 Atlanta Hawks (28-54)

More Bob Pettit!! This team was a Finals team, but lost to (guess who) the Celtics. Pettit had a 28-20 year (amazing). Cliff Hagan continues to shine, having a 22-9 year, and Lovellette is still going at 31, with 22-10, on a team that also had a young Lenny Wilkens.

Wow, the Hawks were awful in the 2000s (Do I even need to say this? It was like 6 years ago ((Damn 2011! It was 7 years ago…))). Shareef Abdur-Rahim was playing for 53 games, averaging 20 a night, with Stephen Jackson and Jason Terry there for 80+ games each, and averaged 18 and 17 respectively. Not much else to say…

(7) 2010 Atlanta Hawks (53-29) vs. (54) 2000 Atlanta Hawks (28-54)

Here’s a dangerous offensive team in the ’10 Hawks. They have Johnson with 21 a game, Jamal Crawford (6th man of the year) off the bench with 18, a maturing (when I reread this…I read maturing wrong…) Josh Smith averaging 16-9-4; young center Al Horford with 14-10, plus Marvin Williams improving to 10 points a night, with the addition of Mike Bibby. Watch out (yes I know they got swept by Orlando in the second round.)

In 2000, the Hawks sucked (this becomes a recurring theme...). Isaiah Rider averaged 19 scoring, Jim Jackson had 17. They had Mutombo who had 12-14, but otherwise, they really sucked. Nothing to say (except they got rid of those gradient Hawks jerseys ((ugly….but cool)). I’m sure that’s why this was a losing season and ’99 was not….)

(8) 1989 Atlanta Hawks (52-30) vs. (53) 1976 Atlanta Hawks (29-53)

Wilkins had 26 a game this year, and was greatly helped by a 33 year old Moses Malone, who, despite his age, averaged a 20-12. Reggie Theus and Doc Rivers contributed with double did get scoring.

Led by a before-drugs John Drew, this team won 29 games, despite 22 point scoring from Drew. Lou Hudson gave them 17 a game, with Tom Henderson adding 14 a game, with an old Connie Hawkins on the bench not doing much. Blow outs.

(9) 1999 Atlanta Hawks (31-19) vs. (52) 1955 Milwaukee Hawks (26-46)

This is the famous lockout year. Steve Smith is the aging leader, having 19 points a game with Mookie Blaylock, 13 scoring, and Dikembe Mutombo on his side.

Bob Pettit: Version 1. This is Pettit’s rookie year, and it doesn’t go well for his team, even though Pettit made a splash, putting up 20-14. Impressive for a rookie. Chuck Share is the only other notable; he had 12-10 this year.

(10) 1960 St. Louis Hawks (46-29) vs. (51) 1962 St. Louis Hawks (29-51)

What a difference two years makes. For the ’60 team, Pettit is having a 26-17 season, supported by Cliff Hagan, putting up great numbers for anyone with 25-11. Lovellette has is 30, but still puts up 21-11.

On the flip side, St. Louis isn’t doing great in ’62. Maybe Pettit is being selfish this year, he’s averaging 31 points a game and grabbing 19 rebounds a game. Hagan slipped with 23-8 now, and Clyde Lovellette has only 40 games this year. Wilkens is doing well though; he has 18-7-6. He’s still young, but youth can’t necessarily beat the ’60 Hawks.

(11) 1980 Atlanta Hawks (50-32) vs. (50) 2007 Atlanta Hawks (30-52)

In 1980, Atlanta was led by troubled players John Drew and Eddie Johnson. These are some of their best years, with them averaging 20 and 19 points a game respectively. Dan Roundfield is their main rebounder, along with Tree Rollins.

The Hawks were still bad in 2007. Johnson proves he’s a legit scoring threat, scoring 25 a game, with Smith and Williams, Childress and Pachulia. They aren’t that bad, but there record says otherwise.

(12) 1986 Atlanta Hawks (50-32) vs. (49) 1981 Atlanta Hawks (31-51)

The ’86 Hawks featured epic scorer Dominique Wilkins going for 30 every night. This is his best career scoring average (so far), his only year leading the league. He carried this Hawks team to 50 wins, but was helped (a little) by Randy Wittman, Kevin Willis and Doc Rivers, all putting double figure scoring, while Willis had 9 rebounds a game, Doc had 8 assists. Good team here.

Wait this was a 50 win team last year?!? Weird, but drugs may have had an impact (that’s why Drew and Johnson are “troubled”, as is Terry Furlow, who is no longer on the team). Drew and Johnson bettered their scoring (Johnson had 19, Drew: 22). Roundfield had 18-10 this year.

(13) 1988 Atlanta Hawks (50-32) vs. (48) 1977 Atlanta Hawks (31-51)

Wilkins bested his PPG record with 30.7. Rivers helped out with 14-5-9 on an essentially one man team, though it was successful.

The ’77 Hawks were not successful. John Drew was great, going for 24 points a night, for 74 games. He may have played 74 games, but other key players didn’t play that much. Including Truck Robinson (I love that name) and he put up 22-13 in 36 games. An old Lou Hudson put up 17 a day, in a bit more games, 58, but still…OK team, too many problems.

(14) 1998 Atlanta Hawks (50-32) vs. (47) 1975 Atlanta Hawks (31-51)

Led by the 20 point Steve Smith, they also had four 13-14 point scorers in Alan Henderson, Christian Laettner, Dikembe Mutombo (along with 11 boards), and Mookie Blaylock. Greatly formed team.

Lou Hudson played only 11 games…that is the basic story of this season. Tom Van Arsedale and John Drew took lead, each scoring 19 a game. Drew also had 10 boards a game.

(15) 1963 St. Louis Hawks (48-32) vs. (46) 1953 Milwaukee Hawks (27-44)

Isn’t that weird? If you recall the 10th vs. 51st seed matchup, the Hawks were on the lower end in 1962. But now, here they are at 15th. Pettit was less selfish this year, averaging a still spectacular 28-15. Cliff Hagan helped in his limited minutes, scoring 15.5 a night. Lenny Wilkens had 12-5-5, while rookie Zelmo Beaty had 10-8 a game. And this team is better than the champs…

But the ’53 Hawks are not even close. Jack Nichols led them with 16-8-3 a night (this IS pre-shot clock), and was immensely helped by Mel Hutchins, who got 12-11 a night. Not a HORRIBLE team…but not good either.

(16) 1969 Atlanta Hawks (48-34) vs. (45) 2002 Atlanta Hawks (33-49)

Cool, it’s the first Hawks team in Atlanta! Still two years till the Pistol comes, but this is a greatly oiled team. 24 year-old Lou Hudson is the main scorer (22 points with 6 boards) supplemented by Zelmo Beaty (22 points, with 11 boards to help too). Joe Caldwell has 16 points a night, and Bill Bridges is putting up 12-14.

Facing them, yet another bad early 2000s Hawks team. Shareef Abdur-Rahim is the scoring leader for them, with 21 points every time he ties his shoes, along with 9 boards. Jason Terry is going for 19 a game…and then the scoring drops off to Toni Kukoc at 10, but in only 59 games, followed by Nazr Mohammed with 10-8 a night. ….Kinda bad team.

(17) 1970 Atlanta Hawks (48-34) vs. (44) 1985 Atlanta Hawks (34-48)

The 1970 team may be better than the ’69 version we just saw. They added some small new parts, while subtracting one major one. Lou Hudson obviously improved; he now is putting up 25 points. Joe Caldwell now has 21 a night, as Bill Bridges now has 15-14, while Mahdi Abdul-Rahman has improved enough to be mentioned this year, he has 15-4-6 this year. The missing part is Zelmo Beaty, who is sitting out this year in an attempt to jump to the ABA (which he would next year). So Walt Bellamy has been added in a late season trade, and he has 16-14 in 23 games. Here is a great team.

This is Wilkins third year pro, and it is his least successful, his team had 40 wins the year before, and have now slipped (but then will win 50 next year). Wilkins shines with 26 points a night, greatly supplemented by Eddie Johnson, giving Atlanta 18 PPG. They have a lot of helpers, Doc Rivers, Kevin Willis and Cliff Levingston, all scoring in double digits, with the latter two grabbing 10 boards a game also. Not easy to beat it seems, but the ’70 Hawks are really great.

(18) 1964 St. Louis Hawks (46-34) vs. (43) 2003 Atlanta Hawks (35-47)

Pettit is still thriving at 31; he is managing 27-15 a night. Cliff Hagan isn’t doing as good in old age, but still a good player, 18 points, but only 5 rebounds a game. Zelmo Beaty is putting up a double-double to the tune of 13-11; Lenny Wilkens is putting up 12 a night on this (old) great Hawks team.

We are nearly done with the sucky 2000s Hawks teams (after this, only one more losing team in the 2000s…yay!). This team is led by Glenn Robinson, putting up 21 a game, after his 20+ scoring years in Milwaukee (Bucks not Hawks…I love that purple color unis, just thought I’d put that out there). Shareef Abdur-Rahim is putting up 20 a night, with Jason Terry having 17. Great scoring (at least at the top), but not much else to say…

(19) 2009 Atlanta Hawks (47-35) vs. (42) 1974 Atlanta Hawks (35-47)

Hey, it’s a not-so-sucky 2000s Hawks team (we had 2010, but that isn’t 2000s). Another Joe Johnson led team, but this one isn’t bad! He gave them 21-4-6 this season, and was helped by the defense of Josh Smith, along with his 16-7 numbers. Mike Bibby has 15 points a night in his first full Hawks season. Marvin Williams, Ronald Murray and Al Horford all contributed double figures.

It’s out first Pistol Pete sighting! He had 28-5-5 in an unsuccessful last season in Atlanta for the Pistol. Lou Hudson gave them 25 points this season, along with Herm Gilliam’s 14 a night, they managed 35 wins. Also on the roster, Jim Washington gave 10-10 at age 30, and Walt Bellamy contributed 13-10 a game.

(20) 1958 St. Louis Hawks (41-31) vs. (41) 1972 Atlanta Hawks (36-46)

Hey look, THERE is the only Hawks title team. Look for this team to do a whole lot of damage, 25-17 from a younger Pettit, Hagan has 20-10, Easy Ed Macauley has 14-7, Slater Martin has 12 points, and Chuck Share has 9-10 a night. Great, great, great team. Even though they wouldn’t have won it Russell was healthy in the Finals.

This is the Pistol’s second NBA year, and it wasn’t as good as his ’74 season. He wasn’t the leader of the team as Lou Hudson was with 25-5-4. The Pistol had 20 a game, to go with six assists. 32 year-old Walt Bellamy put in 19-13 to try to help this team to no avail. The chemistry was screwy because of Maravich.

(21) 1965 St. Louis Hawks (45-35) vs. (40) 1971 Atlanta Hawks (36-46)

The legendary Bob Pettit is playing his last season this year. At 32 he is putting up 23 points with 12 rebounds. And he is retiring. (But remember, 32 was the old 35; it was considered much older than it is now. They didn’t have all the medicine, so it is even more impressive) Beaty has to pick up the load as Pettit slipped a little; he now has 17-12 along with Lenny Wilkens, Richie Guerin, Cliff Hagan, Chico Vaughn, and Bill Bridges all scoring in double figures.

And faced with facing them, is the ’71 Hawks. Lou Hudson had 27 a games this, and was followed in points by rookie Pistol Pete Maravich, who had 23 a game. Mahdi Abdul-Rahman had 17-4-6 a game, and was helped by 15-13 from Bellamy, and 12-15 from Bridges. Not a bad team.

(22) 1973 Atlanta Hawks (46-36) vs. (39) 1966 St. Louis Hawks (36-44)

This is the Pistol’s only successful season in Atlanta (and they lost in the Semis this year). Led by Lou Hudson, who posted a 27-6 season, they managed 46 wins. Maravich scored 26 a night, along with 7 assists. Bellamy had 16-13 this season, and Jim Washington put in 10-11.

’66 was the year after Pettit. And Zelmo Beaty was the guy to take over. He had 21-14 this season, though they didn’t do great. Lenny Wilkens upped his game to 18-5-6, and they got 14 points from an aging Richie Guerin, and a double-double from Bill Bridges.

(23) 1979 Atlanta Hawks (46-36) vs. (38) 2008 Atlanta Hawks (37-45)

This team was led by John Drew (23-7), and Eddie Johnson (16-2-5). Dan Roundfield gave them 15-11, while they also had Terry Furlow give them 10 points. Look at Drew, Johnson and Furlow. All had some type of drug connection…

Finally! The last of the below .500 2000s Hawks!! This team isn’t something to mess with though. Joe Johnson led the way with a sizzling 22-5-6 average that took Boston to 7 games this year (which was a title team, I hope you can remember that far back….). Smith was good for 17-8, plus some nice D. They had Marvin Williams to score in the starting lineup, and Childress to pour on the bench points. Rookie Al Horford gave them a near double-double, and offensive-minded Mike Bibby brought shooting. Their record is deceiving.

(24) 1996 Atlanta Hawks (46-36) vs. (37) 1956 St. Louis Hawks (33-39)

Led by the 18-4-3 of Steve Smith, who also got a 16-4-6 from Mookie Blaylock, and 13-10 from Grant Long, these Hawks looked good…till they lost to the Magic. Stacy Augmon was also fundamental; he had 13 points a day.

The first thing I see when I look at this team is that this is a two man team. It is obviously Bob Pettit’s team, who got most of their 33 wins from his spectacular 26-16-3 daily work. His partner was the great Chuck Share. He put up 14-11 nightly. Of course, they were helped by part season contributions from Jack Coleman (12 PPG). Good luck against the ’96 Hawks.

(25) 2011 Atlanta Hawks (44-38) vs. (36) 1992 Atlanta Hawks (38-44)

These ’11 Hawks were led by (who else) Joe Johnson, though he diminished to 18-4-5. Josh Smith continues being a defensive beast, while putting up 17-9. Al Horford continues to shine; he puts up 15-9. Jamal Crawford continues his bench scoring (14).

The ’92 Hawks were led by Wilkins until his tendon injury in January. He had been scoring 28 a game before then, along with 7 boards. Kevin Willis carried them the rest of the way, averaging 18-16 for the whole season. 16 BOARDS!! Stacy Augmon and Rumeal Robinson both had 13 points a game in a 38 win year.

(26) 1983 Atlanta Hawks (43-39) vs. (35) 1957 St. Louis Hawks (34-38)

This may have been Wilkins’ rookie year, but it was Dan Roundfield that was points leader. He had 19 points to go with 11 boards. Dominique had 17.5 to start his career. Eddie Johnson was still here and he gave them 16 points (along with some coke). Most other contributors played in less than 55 games, but Tree Rollins had a productive 8-9 year.

The ’57 Hawks were the ’57 runnerups (they lost by TWO points in DOUBLE-OVERTIME to Boston for its first title. Why are they so low? Bad regular season, but they turned it on in the postseason). This year was Pettit going for 25-15. Ed Macauley scored 17, after coming in the Bill Russell trade. Also coming was rookie Cliff Hagan, coming home from Korea. Slater Martin also had 12 points a night.

(27) 1991 Atlanta Hawks (43-39) vs. (34) 1967 St. Louis Hawks (39-42)

Wilkins not only scored this year (26 PPG), but he also got 9 boards a game. Doc Rivers was second leading scorer, he had 15 points. Spud Webb had 13-6 this year, his best Atlanta one. On the team was (28 year old) Kevin Willis and (35) Moses Malone, averaging 13-9, and 11-8 respectively.

Led by Lou Hudson (18-5) and Lenny Wilkins (17-5-6), plus Bill Bridges amazing 17-15 average, though they missed Zelmo Beaty, who played in only 48 games, putting up 18-11 in them. Joe Caldwell and Richie Guerin both added in 14 for the Hawks.

(28) 1993 Atlanta Hawks (43-39) vs. (33) 1984 Atlanta Hawks (40-42)

The ’93 Hawks were led by Wilkins, who put up nearly 30 points at age 33. Kevin Willis was the main support man, giving them 18-13 in 80 games, along with the all-important contribution of 14 points by Stacy Augmon, plus the great Mookie Blaylock adding in 13-8.

Year two of the Human Highlight Reel is going good, which includes a barrage of 22 points a night by the Film. Dan Roundfield gives a near double-double at 19-9.9. So close. Eddie Johnson is still there, but only giving 13 a night.

(29) 1982 Atlanta Hawks (42-40) vs. (32) 1990 Atlanta Hawks (41-41)

Well, this is as bland as it gets. ’82 is pre-Wilkins, on a team that is led by Dan Roundfield (19-12), and John Drew (19 scoring). Adding to the fun, Eddie Johnson (18-3-5) and Rory Sparrow (11-3-5). Not the most interesting team.

But there is always Dominique Wilkins to make things more interesting. During this season, he scored 27 a game. He played with an aged Moses Malone, who was still grabbing every ball available, he had a great 19-10 season, and was helped with the boards by Willis (12-8). This one may go to the underdogs.

(30) 1995 Atlanta Hawks (42-40) vs. (31) 1978 Atlanta Hawks (41-41)

No, THIS is as bland as it gets. The ’95 Hawks are led by Kevin Willis who had a 21-18 average….in two games (trade). The real leader is Mookie Blaylock who played great, as usual, dishing out 17-5-8. Steve Smith added 16 points to the board, and Stacy Augmon added 14 points on a 42 win team.

Facing them, are the ’78 Hawks. More John Drew as he put up 23-7 for them. Following him is Steve Hawes, who added 13-10. Charlie Criss added 11.4 to the Hawks, along with 11 from a young Eddie Johnson.

Well, that was a long ride through the Hawks history. Many, many players added to the lore of the Hawks (Wilkins, Wilkens, Johnson, Pettit) and they are truly great players. Most came up short of the championship, and we saw only one (Pettit), but the Hawks have hardly been a laughing-stock the whole ride.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Milwaukee/St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks!! There are 30 series, most of which will be interesting. Next, are the Boston Celtics series previews.


  1. No I didn't forget about this! Anyone think that I should split this up into multiple posts (not that anyone reads...)

  2. My 2 cents: you should split these into multiple posts (maybe have 2-3 matchups per post ... and maybe have them be different teams to keep readers' interest). Also, maybe have a page that keeps the entire progress of the whole competition in a bracket or something?

    I love doing this stuff too ... I had my own tournament for a couple years where each team could fill their roster with the best players ever on it. The one catch was each player could be on only one team (so Wilt Chamberlain actually ended up being on the All-Time Warriors instead of Lakers/76ers, since his best statistical year was for them).

    Check it out (though I quit halfway through 2009 as it took me way too long and I had so little control over the experiment):

  3. I will do...

    I will add the pages as soon as I publish more of these previews of the teams...

    Expect one today or tomorrow!

    Next is the Boston Celtics, and I'll split into three parts, so the first 10 matchups will be shown. These are long...

    I don't know about 3 matchups....I already wrote them through Chicago and there is some continuity in them....I think I'd have to rewrite some of them to do that...

    Thanks for the (first) comment!



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