The Atlanta Hawks held their annual media day on Monday and the prevailing theme that each and every player and coach made perfectly clear was that this is not a rebuilding team. New addition Lou Williams summed the situation up not as rebuilding but as "restructuring." Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams are gone from last year's team but in their place remain several talented veterans that are looking to fill those roles and then some.
Offensively Larry Drew promises a much faster pace for this year's team and a much more free flowing offense. the Hawks added speed in the backcourt with Lou Williams and Devin Harris joining Jeff Teague in the rotation. They also added a plethora of shooters in Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow and rookie John Jenkins. The feeling at media day was that the speed and the improved shooting will complement one another offensively.
Defensively there are some concerns particularly with defending bigger guards. The Hawks think they can overcome that by speeding up the game while playing an aggressive style of defense.
During his session with the media, coach Drew pointed out some of the differences in last year's team and his current team. Drew still thinks that this is a versatile group and certainly isn't opposed to switching things up as far as his starting lineup goes. For now, Drew says he will let things play themselves out in training camp before naming starters.
One of the advantages that the Hawks have had over the last five seasons is continuity. One of the biggest challenges of training camp will be incorporating all of the new faces together and building trust.
The overall mood of the proceedings was overwhelmingly positive which has been the case since Danny Ferry took over for Rick Sund as general manager. Even those in attendance that think that the Hawks will take a step backwards this season feel as though they are on the right track.
Time will tell but for Larry Drew, Josh Smith and many others the future is now and they are all excited and motivated to get started on Tuesday.