After losing in the second round of the playoffs in offshore betting for the second straight season, the Hawks decided to dismiss their head coach.
Bookmaker odds favored the Hawks quite a bit this past season and Atlanta did well vs. the number. The Hawks were a very profitable 48-34 during the regular season vs. the offshore betting odds. They couldn’t do anything in the playoffs against the Orlando Magic though, losing in four straight.
The Hawks improved every season under Woodson but it was not enough. In his first year with the team in 2004-2005 they won just 13 games. Last year they won 47 games and this year they improved to 53 wins. They were just 11-18 in the playoffs under Woodson though and the team decided to make a change. "After careful consideration, we have made a difficult decision regarding coach Woodson's contractual status," general manager Rick Sund said, "We're grateful for Mike's contributions over the last six years and we want to wish him the very best."
It is really hard to argue with what Woodson did in Atlanta. He improved the team every year. He won a first round playoff series in each of the last two years and then lost to Cleveland and Orlando in the second round. The Hawks were not expected to beat either of those teams as they were solid underdogs at the bookmaker.
It looks like winning 53 games and a playoff series is not good enough for the Atlanta Hawks ownership. It appears Mike Woodson did all he could with the Hawks. The bookmaker knows that the team has some problems as Mike Bibby is not a good point guard, Joe Johnson is an enigmatic shooting guard, the team has no true center and Josh Smith is so inconsistent he would drive any coach crazy.
It will be interesting to watch the Hawks vs. the bookmaker number next season. They were very successful under Woodson even though they didn’t get past the second round of the playoffs. The team was one that was a very good one versus the point spread as they almost always showed up with premium efforts until the playoff series against Orlando. Can another head coach do any better? It is possible but highly unlikely.