Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/21/11
When the head man says this is a "make or break" season for a team, the suspense has been lifted. And that's exactly what Hawks part-owner Michael Gearon Jr. has laid out for his team for the abbreviated 2011-12 NBA season. The Hawks' core of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Marvin Williams has this season to prove that it is capable of moving beyond the second round of the playoffs -- a place only the Hawks, Lakers and Celtics have been in each of the last three seasons -- and into the championship realm. If not now, then it's never for this group. And they know it. "That's the way it should be," Smith said. "At this stage of our careers, making the playoffs, making the second round and being satisfied with that is out of the question. I've been in this league too long to be happy with that. You're either competing for and winning championships or you're not. Getting better every year is fine, but if it's not about winning it all, what's the point?" The Hawks haven't exa...
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