Billy Knight has now signed his back-up. I like this move. Check out Speedy's numbers from 82games.com. He outproduced opposing point guards and the Hornets were a significantly better team with him on the court as opposed to off of it, both offensively and defensively. Contrast him with the Hawks' point guards from last year, Mssrs. Ivey and Lue, and it's clear that the Hawks have significantly upgraded the point guard position. Furthermore, they've done so with a player who can shoot the ball, which is important since opponents were double-teaming Joe Johnson last year off the Hawks point guard and therefore, the team needs a guy who can make open perimeter shots. Mission accomplished. Am I being an idiot by being optimistic about this team? I don't mean "make the playoffs" optimistic or anything, but "35 wins and demonstrable improvement" optimistic?
While rooting around 82games.com to find something to say about Speedy Claxton, I came across this piece on college Draft prospects and their comparables from the past 15 years. At least one person other than me and Doug Gottlieb think that the Hawks made a good decision in taking Shelden Williams. The Alonzo Mourning comparison is flattering, although Williams doesn't have Mourning's offensive game and I'm not expecting Zo-like things from Shelden. Another article on the site notes that Williams' excellent wingspan is "canceled out by his tall head." So we have that going against us.
What's more interesting is the analysis of point guards. Rajon Rondo grades out better than Marcus Williams, who apparently has limited athleticism, as well as the combo guards (Brandon Roy and Randy Foye). Foye and J.J. Redick got the lowest marks. There will be a great deal of schadenfreude among just about all college hoops fans if the latter part of that prediction turns out to be true.