Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/30/11
Compare the Hawks to two of their opponents this week the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets and it's not too pretty of a picture. The Wizards and Nets will almost surely be drafting in the 2012 lottery, while the Hawks will make yet another trip to the playoffs, but both teams are more promising and, somehow, more relevant than Atlanta. Remember the 2008 playoffs when the young Hawks took Boston and its team of OG veterans the eventual champs to seven games in the first round? The Hawks were hot. Al Horford was a productive rookie, fresh off back-to-back championships with Florida. Josh Smith, in his fourth year, had morphed into a legit all-around force (the fact that he was so mercurial was somewhat of a good thing, back then). And Joe Johnson had made his second straight All-Star team. They were young upstarts, a team full of athletes with the collective talent and confidence necessary to scare the league's older, elite squads. That's not the Hawks, anymore. As Johnso...
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