The Dawg House
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   Yesterday it was announced that Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson will not return for a seventh season. It appears that the downfall for Woodson, who leaves Atlanta with a 206-286 record, was the playoff struggles for the Hawks under his leadership. In three playoff appearances, the Hawks went 11-18 and never got farther than the Conference Semis. It was clear something had to chance after this year's playoffs series against the Magic, as the Hawks looked like they had no interest in playing any game of the four game sweep. It had been rumored that the players just were tired of listening to Woodson, so those rumors were apparently true.

  Although it looks like the Hawks organization feels that this is as far as Mike Woodson could take this team, every Hawks employee, player, and fan needs to remember that before Mike Woodson, the Hawks were the laughingstock of the NBA, but under Woodson, Atlanta's wins each year increased, starting at a dismal 13 in 2004 and up to 53 this year. Woodson proved himself to be a capable NBA head coach, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's on the sidelines for another team in 2010-2011 as their head coach. I wish him the best of luck wherever he goes, because without his help, the Hawks would probably still be making the Knicks look like the L.A. Lakers.

  Was this move good or bad by Atlanta? Although I see arguments for both sides, I think in the long run this will be a good move by Atlanta as long as they get a proven winner to replace Woodson. It was clear that the Hawks could get wins under Woodson's leadership. However, it appeared that the Hawks couldn't get wins under Woodson's leadership when they matter most: in the playoffs. The Hawks need to probably act quickly on a new head coach, as other jobs (possibly Cleveland) that some candidates could be interested in might open up. So, who should the Hawks look at to replace Mike Woodson? Here's my candidates for the job:

  Avery Johnson, former Mavericks HC
- To this day I do not understand why the Mavericks fired Avery Johnson. Johnson, who had a 194-70 (that's a 73.5% winning percentage) record as Dallas head coach, has spent this season as an analyst for ABC and ESPN. In his four seasons as Dallas head coach, the Mavericks made the playoffs every year, going all the way to the Finals in the '05-'06 season. Although he might not have many seasons under his belt (just 4), I think that he is a quality head coach and could really help build the Hawks into annual playoff contenders. 

 Nate McMillan, Trail Blazers HC - It's clear that McMillan has proven to be a good head coach, but you're probably thinking that the McMillan won't leave Portland, where the Trail Blazers went 50-32 this year, to go to Atlanta, where the Hawks only won just 3 more games. Hear me out here. It's clear that the Eastern Conference is much easier than the Western, so 53 wins in the Eastern Conference could mean one of the top seeds while the same number would be a 5th or 6th seed in the Western Conference. Throw in the interesting fact that McMillan's from nearby North Carolina, and I think that gauging Nate McMillan's interest in the Hawks job is worth looking into.

 Darkhorse Pick: Larry Brown, Bobcats HC - Call me crazy, but I feel like Larry Brown has one more move left in him. Brown, who has coached a record 9 NBA teams, led the Charlotte Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history this year, where they then got swept by the Orlando Magic. See, Brown and the Hawks already have something in common! Honestly, I say this in the longshot of all longshots, but I think that the Hawks would definitely contend for an NBA Title with the help of Larry Brown.   

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