Re-evolution is best for Hawks, Joe Johnson

 

 

For probably just the second time in his NBA career, Joe Johnson finds himself at a crossroads. He has one year left on his current contract. His team is looking to make the jump from playoff-maker to contender. He is still looking for the respect due a person of his talents. Where does he go from here? Well, “where he goes” is not so much about next summer as it is about the season that starts in 15 days.

Now I know what you might be thinking. This is all just going to be more noise about Joe not signing the contract extension offered by the Hawks. I assure you it’s not. If you ask me, that is only part of why he is at a crossroads, and it is not even the driving reason behind it all. Without exacerbating the point, we’ve seen all of this before with other teams and players. No, this is about something else. Something I like to call re-evolution. It’s sort of like “coming full circle.” Players get into the league and if all goes well, they evolve to the point of where they become the best they are going to be. Sometimes they then evolve further into something else, play a different role, man a different position. Usually it’s because it’s necessary. Because that’s the best that can be done. But if things work out right, they get to “re-evolve” into that player they were, when they were at their most efficient, effective, and comfortable. Perhaps Joe is about to reach that point. And Perhaps that is exactly where the Hawks need him to be.

If you ask people when Joe Johnson had his best season, many will undoubtedly say the 2006-2007 season. You know, the one in which he averaged 25 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and shot 47% overall from the field, and 38% from 3-point land. Hard to argue that point, as those are not just all-star numbers, those are the kinds of numbers very few in the NBA can put up, including some guys who are considered more exciting or more potent players. No doubt about it, that was the one true bright spot in a season that saw the Hawks limp their way to 30 wins.

But I’m not entirely convinced that was his best year. Recall the year before he came here, and you will see what I mean. Rewind your mind to 2005. The Phoenix Suns had just finished the regular season with a franchise-best 62 wins. They embarked on a journey through the playoffs that saw them destroy their first two opponents, only to get dropped 4 games to 1 by the implaccable San Antonio Spurs in the Western Finals. You go back and read the articles from ESPN and many others. All of them talk about how the Suns might have or would have knocked off the Spurs…if only Joe had not missed the first two games of that series. Fast forward to that summer, when Joe told the Phoenix front office that he didn’t want to be in Phoenix anymore. He wanted to go to Atlanta, and he wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. You read the articles that talk about how the Suns just won’t be the same without this incredibly talented 24 year old shooting guard from Arkansas. You look at the stats, and you see why, but not at first. 17 points per game. Okay, how does that compare to 25, you say? 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists….and only 1.8 turnovers per game. Okay, you say. That sounds like typical Joe, but fewer turnovers than we’re used to seeing. Even the 39.5 minutes per game sounds like typical Joe. So what, you say.

Then you begin to see it. The 48% from beyond the arc, with 46% from the field overall. And the playoff games that season? Guys’ averages usually go down a bit. Only the real warriors raise their games. Joe went into the postseason that year and shot a mind-numbing 56% from 3-point range, and 50% overall, while raising his scoring to nearly 19 points per game. On top of that, he maintained an average of 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and lowered his already anemic turnovers to 1.1 a game.

There it is. Everything the pundits and the experts talked about. Here was a guy doing this on a team where he wasn’t the primary ball-handler. Wasn’t the top scorer. Wasn’t the first or even second option on offense. THIS was what got him an offer of $70 million. THIS was what made Atlanta hand over the car keys, the living room suite, and the kitchen sink without blinking, when Phoenix demanded it.  THIS was “the one.” THIS was a good reason to “go for broke.” And now here the Hawks are, having climbed out of the NBA basement. Here the Hawks are, demanding respect and getting it from opposing teams. Here the Hawks are, looking to name themselves not just winners, but contenders. And here Joe is, aspiring to join the ranks of the elite.

But is that what Joe needs now? Is that what the Hawks need now? Will his becoming an “elite” player (whatever that is supposed to mean, exactly) help take the Hawks to the next level? Joe’s departure from Phoenix was a revolution. One for him, and certainly one for the Hawks. Will this season, and the following summer be another revolution? Perhaps the time of revolution is past, and the time of re-evolution is at hand. Many pundits have maintained that the Hawks lack identity and leadership. That has needed to change, and it IS changing. The Hawks are forming an identity. Some would contend that after a 47 win season and a successful first round playoff series, they have already formed their identity. I don’t think so. Not yet is the transformation complete. They Hawks are still finding out who and what they are. Young players are still climbing towards their ceilings, finding and filling their roles, and solidifying their places in the League. The evolution is still in process.

So much of this hangs on Joe, and yet….so much of it does not. Should not. Guys like Marvin Williams, Al Horford, and Josh Smith are still coming into their own.  At the age of 23, all three should be, or already are on the cusp of hitting that spot that Joe was in, before he broke out in ’04-’05. Look at his ‘03-’04 stats, and you will see what I mean about hitting that stride, as it were.   Strange, isn’t it? He has to be looking at them right now (Marvin, Al, Josh) with a strong sense of Deja Vu.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Joe should go back to being a third option on offense. He’s still the best scorer we have right now. Nor am I suggesting that he lower his scoring average by 8 points. But wouldn’t it be better to throw off that oh-so-heavy cape? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to being a pivotal guy on a talented, cohesive team, rather than a “savior”  on a floundering ship? Wouldn’t it be great to go back to being Joe? A guy who could do anything, but didn’t have to do everything.

To be fair, Joe had a lot more help back there in Phoenix. He had an all-star point guard. He had two guys in the frontcourt who were as talented as any in the league, if not moreso on most occasions. When he first got to Atlanta, he didn’t have that. He became the leading scorer, and later on, the leader. He learned that the two are not synonymous (somebody should have told Ben Gordon’s agent that, and Detroit will find out soon enough). He also learned that having to do everything is not as much fun as it’s been advertised. But those times should be past now. His teammates should be ready now. Would we like to see another 25 ppg season from Joe? Of course we would. But we don’t want to see him do that because he has to for us to win, or to gain some new status in the NBA. Rather, because he can. Not because nobody else can provide the scoring, but because others’ ability and production allow him to do so more easily, and more efficiently.

The Hawks should no longer need the Joe from ‘06-’07. They need the Joe from ‘04-’05. THAT Joe isn’t tired. THAT Joe wins games on a regular basis. THAT Joe performs even better in the playoffs than he does in the regular season. THAT Joe is the leader of the revolution….by way of re-evolution.

So what do you think? Is the pursuit of elite status what will help Joe and the Hawks the most? Should he share the load he was originally tasked with? What kind of team do you see the Hawks evolving into?

 

 

 

 

98 comments Add your comment

tbhawksfan

October 12th, 2009
4:13 am

I can’t believe that you wrote all that just to say that the Hawks Off should change so that JJ can go back to a role more similar to when 2005.

KevinA

October 12th, 2009
8:01 am

JJ is in “contract year” so who really knows what Joe is thinking or what kind of aggression he will put on display. Does his goals include the all star game and becoming an elite player?. You bet they do.

The million dollar question is can he achieve those goals while helping develop and take advantage those around him. Can he anchor the Hawks and provide the water that lifts all boats. That Joe may be possible but has yet to be proven.

The 2004/2005 Joe is the one we need but that would take improved play from a variety of sources. your words Ray, – So much of this hangs on Joe, and yet….so much of it does not. Should not. Guys like Marvin Williams, Al Horford, and Josh Smith are still coming into their own. At the age of 23, all three should be, or already are on the cusp of hitting that spot that Joe was in, before he broke out in ’04-’05, are right on.

Last year we saw signs of players stepping up when Joe was out. During a couple of long stretches we saw the Hawks rely on each other and win as a team. Do we need JJ shooting to be our crutch? Probably so, but by play off time, maybe not.

I just hope JJ does not wear himself out in the first half of the year chasing his personal goals of elite status and all star fame.

Ron D

October 12th, 2009
8:14 am

Ditto! Woodson and company have made the Hawks into the image of Detroit’s glory teams. To become a champion with the present players we need 4/5 guys who can win the game on any given night with Joe as option #1. Crawford, Bibby Options #1-2 and Al, J-Smooth, Marvin (23 year olds) options # 1 thru 3. Then Teague is the wild card (you can’t coach speed). Be unselfish!! On any given night whoever has the hot hand wins the game and this is especially true on the road. Joe needs to remember the Jordan rules. Mike only elevated himself and his team to elite status when he didn’t have to be Superman every game. He could pick his spots to exert his will. It was all about winning and he didn’t always have to have the winning shot.

vava74

October 12th, 2009
8:39 am

I think there is space for something in between.

I think that JJ can keep his scoring average on the 20pts mark and still be perceived as an elite player, keep his all star status AND benefit the Hawks.

Team success is very important to solidify all star status.

If he improves his rebounding (on account of some extra effort) and assist average (on account of an evolution by the rest of the Hawks), he would be putting “Clyde Drexler” like numbers which would be obviously hall of fame stuff (before anyone comes back at me, I am not saying that JJ would become an hall of famer instantly, for that, he would need to keep up those numbers and lead us a few years into meaning full objectives – at least a few conference finals).

I think it is inevitable that JJ’s numbers will improve overall this year if the team collectively takes a leap forward and I KNOW that HE KNOWS that.

If is does not need to take as many off balance, coming out of a double team desperation shots his average and stamina will be better and the end result as well.

2 or 3 minutes of rest more will make wonders as well. I think that with Crawford, once we have built an acceptable cushion, there will be many nights in which JJ will play only 28/32 minutes.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
8:49 am

Nice blog Ray,

Joe needs to have the kind of playoffs he had with the Suns(except the injury part), other than that he should NOT return to his younger self. Yes, Joe needs to play less minutes and trust his teammates more, but he also needs to step up as a vocal leader on the floor and around the league. I love his demeanor in general, but he needs to play more with a chip on his shoulder. Demand excellence, demand winning, demand that no one can stop him with the game on the line, demand respect from the officials. Just because we deserve to win, does not mean that other teams will just give it to us. To move to that next level, this team needs to learn how to take it! And Joe must be the one to lead that charge!

you say you want a revolution? well, now you know….

Sautee

October 12th, 2009
9:12 am

Nice piece Ray,

I’m just wondering how many All Star players became “elite” at the age of 28?

Steve Nash maybe? Help me here, Nire.

I’m guessing it’s a very short list.

Sautee

October 12th, 2009
9:15 am

Daniel,

Nice reference but Lennon left out the word “now”. He made the word “well” into 3 syllables.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
9:55 am

paraphrasing Sautee

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
10:07 am

Nash is the only one who comes to mind, Sautee. You could include Dirk in that category too – he always had good stats, but he REALLY raised his game another notch starting in 05-06 (the year the Mavs made the Finals), not least by no longer being a defensive liability. But with both guys, I think they always had the potential to be elite, but weren’t playing in systems that maximized their potential. It was only when Nash played for D’Antoni and Nowitzki stopped playing for Nelson

That also answers one of Ray’s concerns – Nash and Nowitzki went from “All-Star” to “elite” not by putting up bigger numbers, but by helping their teams win more games. With only one exception that I can think of (MJ), no one considers you elite until you play on a team that wins 50 games. I think JJ can keep putting up the numbers he has now and still be considered elite as long as he 1) helps the Hawks become an elite team; and 2) plays a bit more efficiently. The problem is that there are heavy limits on his ability to do that as long as so many of his touches come on ISO plays.

Ray – my one major critique of your post’s reasoning is admittedly nitpicking minor. You also make mention of a difference between the talent on the 2004-2005 Suns and the Hawks today. You kind of acknowledge that JJ had better teammates then, but I don’t think you acknowledge what an extreme difference it is (I was thrown by your statement that JJ didn’t have that talent around him when he first came to Atlanta). In Phoenix, JJ didn’t just have an “All-Star” PG alongside him – he had a PG who was in the middle of winning back-to-back MVP awards. He also was playing alongside two other All-Stars who were considered elite or near-elite players at the time. On that team, JJ pretty much never saw a double team, which is what happens when the other team has to worry about covering an MVP and two other All-NBA players on the floor at the same time. You mention that difference in your post, but I think you give it much shorter shrift than is necessary.

Even today, there is no one of the caliber of Steve Nash or Amare Stoudamire on the Hawks. I would argue that there isn’t even a “mere” Shawn Marion (who could do 19/11 and guard the opposing team’s best player with his eyes shut). With these Hawks, it will be very tough for the Hawks to win 58-60 games unless JJ scores 25ppg. But as you said, it can’t be 25ppg “because he has to for us to win.” It needs to be 25ppg that comes because he’s getting better looks at the basket.

Another problem is that there seems to be an unspoken assumption (and no, Ray, this paragraph is not aimed even primarily at you, although it is intended to answer the questions in your last paragraph) that becoming “elite” is tied primarily to how many points the player scores. That’s simply not true. If JJ scores 24ppg on 47% shooting and gets 6apg and we win 57 games, he will be deemed an elite player and his rise will clearly have benefited the Hawks. If he puts up 26ppg but shoots 41% from the field and gets just 5apg while the Hawks win just 45 games, he won’t be considered elite despite the fact that he put up more points. For an extreme example, you can look at Kobe’s stat lines from the past 4 years and see that there actually is an inverse relationship between Kobe’s ppg and the number of MVP votes he got. A player can’t be elite by putting up great numbers for bad or even mediocre teams. If it were, guys like Stephon Marbury and Glenn Robinson would have been considered an elite players instead of “mere All-Stars,” Nash wouldn’t have won the MVP in 04-05 (15ppg and 11.5apg are good stats, but the only reason Nash won the MVP is that he led the Suns to 62 wins), and Kobe would have won the MVP the year he averaged 35+ ppg. And JJ knows this, because he played alongside Nash the year Nash won that first MVP award.

I totally agree with Vava that there needs to be a happy medium. JJ shouldn’t carry the load that he does now, but he also doesn’t need to be – in fact we can’t afford for him to be – the deferential player that he was in Phoenix. He needs to be elite by raising his game and raising the team’s play. If he only does the first, he won’t be considered elite. Just ask Steve Nash.

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
10:18 am

Sautee – I should go back and say that that list is exclusive of people who became considered “elite” by virtue of their defensive abilities. Ben Wallace only became mentioned as “elite” when he was 27/28. Same with Bruce Bowen. And not incidentally, those guys didn’t get recognition for their abilities defensively until they played for 50 win teams – Wallace led the NBA in rebounding in 2000-2001 but didn’t get any MVP votes or make an All-Defensive team until the Pistons won 50 games the next year. Same with Bowen – he made an All-Defensive team for the first time when he joined the 50-win Heat, and made the All-Defensive First Team only after he won his first ring with the Spurs.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
10:23 am

nire- the difference between all-star and elite is measured by wins. But, does 5 more wins and a second round appearance fit that bill?

I still think with Joe that the next step towards elite, isn’t points, minutes, turnovers, It is all about mindset and moments.

Does he bring a “winning” mindset that elevates his team, does he play big in the big moments. Those are the qualities that seperate the wheat from the chaffe.

Boy, you’re going to carry that weight, a long time….

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
10:41 am

Dunno about that, Daniel. Kevin Garnett seemed to be considered elite despite having a reputation as a choker, and no one called Pierce elite despite the fact that he was clutch. I think that’s just one piece, and not an essential one. The only thing that seems absolutely essential to being considered elite is that your team has to win – a lot – and you have to be a key player on that team. The details beyond that can vary.

Bang bang, Maxwell’s silver hammer came down…Oh wait, it needed to be relevant to the post? Nevermind. :)

Oh wait, I thought of one – if JJ wants to be an elite player and/or the Hawks want to be an elite team, then JJ is going to need some Help! from his coach (although he could at least get by with a little help from his friends) and Woody needs to stop playing him eight days a week. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a hard day’s night.

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
10:44 am

Daniel,

I dunno about that. KG was considered elite despite the fact that he disappeared in the clutch, and Pierce was never considered elite despite the fact that he was money in the clutch. I think the only essential thing is that you have to be a key player for a team that wins a LOT of games; the details beyond that can vary.

Bang band Maxwell’s silver hammer came down upon…

Oh wait, does the Beatles reference have to be pertinent to the post? Nevermind :)

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
10:45 am

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
10:49 am

Nire- I would argue that KG was NOT considered elite until he went deep with Boston and Pierce became “elite” with his clutch play the last two years.
because,
everybodys got somethin’ to hide ‘cept for me and my monkey…

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
10:50 am

I think those two players actually prove my point.

and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you take.

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
11:06 am

Daniel,

I’m sorry, but you would be in a very small minority if you don’t think KG was elite when he was making 6 straight All-D first teams, 6 straight All-NBA teams (3 first and 3 second), winning an MVP award, and leading Minnesota to multiple 50-win seasons. Heck, Nash and Dirk are both considered less than clutch too, but between those two and Garnett you’ve got 4 straight MVP awards. Quite clearly, they were considered elite players. You don’t win the MVP award if you’re less-than-elite.

And Pierce was clutch before the last two years, something that everyone and their mom commented on. The difference between the past two years and the previous eight years in his career is that the past two years, he played for a 60-win contender.

They are they eggmen, I am the walrus.

Wink

October 12th, 2009
11:15 am

Daniel

“It is all about mindset and moments” could not agree more.

To get to the elite status, JJ will have to pick his moments to take over a game. Stats are good for personal gain, MJ & Kobe got scoring titles but no championships. Championships came when they started to trust their teammates, score less, and pick their moments to take over a game.

Instead of ISO Joe which does put the ball in your hand enough to be the leading scorer, his mindset has to change to from ISO Joe, to demand the double / triple team early in the shot clock and evolve to Assist Joe & trust his teammate will knockdown the shot.

If Marvin, Al, Josh are at his pre 04 level, about to embark on a season where they could command a salary in the 70 mil range next year, then he has to trust them. (Yes I know they are under contract beyond next year).

Since JJ did not sign his contract,evolving into this type of player could hurt his contract negoiations next year even if the team improves more. Because it could be said that he had a better surrounding cast than the team that would need his services.

The only way I see this working for all to achieve their goals (advancing in playoffs, JJ going elite, Woody getting a new contract) is the team has have a cohesiveness like Detroit Piston championship team & JJ taking over the games in key spots while scoring less & taking his game to the blocks and demand the double team or score the ball at will.

“The mindset of I can score at will anytime in the game if I choose or I will carve you up with assists, either way we will win this game!!

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
11:44 am

awards, schmarwards… consider me the minority then, when I think of elite, I think of how history remembers a player, and until his Boston run, KG was destined to be remembered as a sub-Malone or Barkley. Great players, HOF, but never big in the big moments. Yes, Dirk won the MVP, how did he fare in those playoffs again?

Sure all of the players you mentioned could be considered elite. Hell, a starting player in the NBA is elite. Then any that make an All-Star is elite. And, ultimately, how much a team pays you makes you elite. These are all valid definitions of elite. I just hope that Joe means elite in terms of moments and mindset.

now,
take these broken wings and learn to fly….
all your life,
you were only waiting for this moment to arrive

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
11:48 am

Instead of ISO Joe which does put the ball in your hand enough to be the leading scorer, his mindset has to change to from ISO Joe, to demand the double / triple team early in the shot clock and evolve to Assist Joe & trust his teammate will knockdown the shot.

I’m not gonna get deep into this again because I’ve made the point a billion times. The job of designing the offense falls to the coach, not JJ. JJ does need to trust his teammates a bit more (and he DID at the end of last year when he was playing hurt and wasn’t scoring as easily, a tidbit that his critics conveniently have forgotten). But it’s not his job to design a new offense that doesn’t involve ISO Joe being run 12-15 times per game. That’s the job of the coach, not the players.

And I’m sorry, but your description of what you want JJ to do is the perfect example of the Catch 22 that his critics put him in. He is supposed to both 1) take over games; and 2) give the ball to his teammates more. When JJ does try to take over at ends of games, he’s called a ballhog. And when he passes it to open teammates at the ends of games, he’s called un-clutch. As I said, it’s a Catch 22.

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
11:58 am

Oh and nevermind that JJ has both made big shots at the ends of games and passed to teammates who have made big shots (ones that stand out right now, –> Marvin against Boston last fall, –> Bibby against Houston in January). And never mind that Wade and LeBron miss big shots and make bad decisions in the clutch routinely – no one remembers those times. It’s JJ who obviously is not a clutch player.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
12:01 pm

nire- I don’t think Wink was being critical of Joe, and I know I wasn’t being. I love Joe. I hope he resigns. The topic of the blog was what does Joe need to do to “re-evolve”
we can work it out.

niremetal

October 12th, 2009
12:06 pm

Daniel,

Fair enough. And in any case….

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
12:14 pm

fixing a hole where the rain gets in keeps my mind from wandering…

WR

October 12th, 2009
12:45 pm

Big Ray great post, I love the idea of Joe not having to do so much, I know most will find this comment hard to believe but the same ideas and points you appear to be making are what eventually netted Jordan, Kobe, Shaq and many others championships. Its the same reason its going to be a struggle for a while for Lebron to get a championship, that idea and reasoning centers around keeping your closer fresh and ready to kick on all cylinders come the fourth quarter. Everyone I named earlier overworked just to keep their respective teams in games leading up into the fourth quarter, once their teams were built to the point that they didn’t have to spend as much energy in that aspect of the game, they were able to close games like the best closers in baseball do. I believe that the Hawks have finally positioned themselves to be that kind of team, and if Joe is allowed to be the kind of player and finisher he was in Phoenix it will not only move him into a position of being ranked with the best but it will also cement the Hawks as being one of the best, and to think that this is still an awfully young team.

Keep’em coming Big Ray your doing an excellent job

Wink

October 12th, 2009
1:34 pm

As a fan I want what best for the team advancing toward the Finals. Joe wants what best for Joe personally, but I know he too wants to advance toward NBA Finals & I am cool with that.

As far as Joe becoming an elite player his team has to hit 50 plus wins. Heck Stockton & Malone were elite players who never won a championship. Charles Barley never won a championship, but was an elite player.

I think Joe will have to make like Sugar Ray Leonard, conserve his energy during the fight (game), rope a dope his opponent (make assists early)and then steal the round late with flurry of punches (do work & get buckets/assists). I believe Sugar won a few titles…showboating for the judges. JJ can get into that ELITE group with team success…he har to engage the moment…people want to see a Show. The networks follow the Elite players. People pay to see Kobe, LeBron, MJ, … JJ???

Jin Rummy

October 12th, 2009
1:44 pm

For JJ to EVER be THAT efficent again, he’s going to need more dominant players at key positions. If we can ever get Chris Kaman away from the Clippers. The guy is automatic in the post. A true beast on a bad squad. He will make JJ’s % go up.

Then we need a more doinant ball handler so that JJ can pay off the ball even more. Bibby is not the answer. He has played predominantly off the ball ever since he got to scramento.. Teague is better at soring that assitsing at this point but he helps. Crawford will help out a lot since he’s arguably a better ball handler than Joe and can creeate/dominate in his own right. Flip took some of the offensive pressure off joe last season, but he’s not a high caliber assist man….andthe ball in his hands for too long can sometimes make him a dtriment to the team(but I guess you could argue the same for the Iso-Joe/Crawford).

Do we actually have a better PG/set up man on our squad than JJ? I don’t think so. And we’re not getting Steve Nash anytime soon lol. So I have a solution. There a guy that Rick Sund has worked with in the past who led his aquad to back to back 50 win seasons. Luke Ridnour. I’m sire Milwaukee is itching to deal, and Like is a better ball handler/PG/Setup man than JJ. Problem Solved…at least in my opinion.

So to review. Get Chris Kaman and Luke Ridnour without sacrificing our core(maybe Bibby…) and Joe can finally just park his but on the wind and recive passes for Lucky luke and Chris Kaman doubleteams…

Yes, that’s right. I said Luke Ridnour:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mOEv8MIdJk

Jin Rummy

October 12th, 2009
1:48 pm

Please excuse my non proofreading self….and the typos lol…

Jin Rummy

October 12th, 2009
1:51 pm

*Park his butt on the wing and receive passes…..

Jin Rummy

October 12th, 2009
1:55 pm

*Park his butt on the wing and receive passes from…..

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
1:56 pm

LOL..I forgot to change my name back lol….

Sautee

October 12th, 2009
2:27 pm

Ariose,

Kaman would be a big help in all 32 games he’d play before being injured (again!)

;-)

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
2:41 pm

Luke and Kaman and all we lose is Bibby? Don’t know how you plan for that to work Ariose. Al and Josh split time at PF?
yeah… I think I will pass on that one.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

Daniel, yes Al will back up Smoove and Joe Smith will be the 3rd PF off the bench…..that is if you wanna win a title. Look at CLE Ilgauskas to the bech? Only for a beter player on a team that has a serious title shot. Kaman alone could probably put us over the top.

Sautee, I know lol! But if he IS healthy, that’s one serious dude.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
2:51 pm

Daniel, a couple 4 team deals lol….IDK that’s Ricks job ha.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
3:15 pm

Clevland is moving Z to the bench at the end of his career, you are talking about putting Al on the bench as he is moving into his prime? I think you would have to give up Al or Josh to make that work, and I don’t think Kaman is worth it.
But, if logic doesn’t matter, then shoot why get Kaman, we should get Duncan. Then we would definitely be serious.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
3:23 pm

Danel, Is San Antonio looking to deal duncan? How is it not logic when LAC is obviously looking to deal? Also, Why wouldn’t Al come off the bench? Is he better thanJosh or Kaman. If kaman comes off the bech then we have two centers coming off the bench. Josh off the bench? 10mill off the bench? Benching him for a player he’s clearly better than?

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
3:24 pm

Kaman is NOT clearly better than Horford. He is clearly taller.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
3:24 pm

it is not logical because in order to get Kaman you would have to give them more than Bibby.

Daniel

October 12th, 2009
3:25 pm

Honestly, it is not clear that Josh is better than Al, paid more, yes, but that is temporary.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
3:32 pm

If you’re talking about taking some of JJ’s offensive load and upping his FG%(the blog topic) offensively, yes, Chris Kaman is better than Al Horford.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
3:34 pm

Daniel, Like I said, thatks Ricks job lol. I just put the Idea out there. Thgers on other legit big on the Trading Blog worth a dime right now other than Kaman…Camby? Pass

More Hawks vidos From Micah Heart:

http://www.nba.com/hawks/video/2009/10/12/HawksOpenPractice.nba/index.html

http://www.nba.com/hawks/video/2009/10/12/HawksOffseasonFun.nba/index.html

Big Ray

October 12th, 2009
3:34 pm

Ariose ,

Are you telling me Kris Kaman and Josh Smith are better than Al Horford? I mean, with the arrangement of Horford backing up Smith, that IS what you’re saying, right? :o

Niremetal ,

” JJ does need to trust his teammates a bit more (and he DID at the end of last year when he was playing hurt and wasn’t scoring as easily, a tidbit that his critics conveniently have forgotten). ”

I find an eery similarity between that and the same argument made for Woody. Those who constantly defend Woody’s every move were also very quick to mention how well he coached and managed minutes when key players were injured. The feeling was that he only did this when forced to. Is that what it takes for Joe to trust his teammates? Does he have to be injured and not scoring as easily?

Actually, I think JJ’s critics could have a field day with that, making any die-hard JJ fanatic wishing that little “fact” WAS conveniently forgotten. ;)

Now where’s my asbestos suit? I’m sure to get flammed for that one… :lol:

WR ,

Thanks, my man. And that is how I want to see Joe used more: as a closer. Sure, he’s got to get his during the game, but it just does NOT need to be JJ all the time, every time. The easiest thing is to blame everything on Woody, and say pretty much none of it is Joe’s fault. It’s really just as easy to say that JJ has to be the one to lead this team to a championship, regardless of who is coaching. Both views are extreme (and wrong) in my opinion .

The idea here is that JJ has to step back a bit, his teammates have to step forward, and the coach has to let it all happen. Sounds simple, right? It isn’t of course. And no matter how you say it, somebody always takes it the wrong way. Usually it’s the extremists…. :lol:

Big Ray

October 12th, 2009
3:38 pm

Daniel ,

I don’t think Horford is moving into his prime yet. I think we will begin to see that this year. Then again, you may have it right. He was considered by many to be the most NBA-ready prospect of the 2007 draft, and his maturity curve is a quick one.

Big Ray

October 12th, 2009
3:48 pm

I like Chris Kaman. He’s a true center. He’s also somewhat injury prone, particularly the last two years.

The best year he has had statistically was in ‘07-’08, wherein he averaged 15.7ppg, 12.7rpg, and 2.8 bpg. His career averages are 10.4, 8.3, and 1.4, after 6 seasons in the NBA.

Horford, after two years in the league, has career averages of 10.8, 9.5, and 1.1.

Is Kaman really better? You have to compare him to Horford as a center. If he’s a better center, then you have to compare Horford to Smith as a PF. Is Smith a better PF?

I’m willing to bet Sund would still love to get his hands on Kaman. But what would he be giving up, and could Kaman stay healthy? If he can, that gives us a bigger starting lineup. But if it’s me making the decision, it’s not Horford that goes to the bench. You don’t bench a double-double guy with this much potential.

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
4:26 pm

Ervyone wants to put J-Smoovew on the benc. I understand that. BUT is it the right move? and are you two saying that Al HOrford is better than Josh Smith :?: :o

I’m just playing what-if here. I’m not the GM so I not going to think too hard about how this would go down(like I said, it would involve a bunch of teams). If Kamans on the squad though, Either Al or Smoove has to come off the bench. Who is it? Kaman and Zaza on the bench? Two centers? no… You can’t go wrong either way.

A) Better help Defense and the occasional tip-off lob throwdown

B) Better Man to Man defense but the help D suffers(to Bibby’s dissapointment i’m sure)

;-)

Ariose

October 12th, 2009
4:29 pm

once again w/the typos….ewww!! 8-O

doc

October 12th, 2009
4:50 pm

ray my earlier post got dumped so i will say what is most important, you are getting better than whitaker.

MannyT

October 12th, 2009
5:26 pm

I think Joe understands that he is better off as the leader of a team that wins more than a high stat guy on a lesser team. If we find a way to move into the 3rd best record in the East and Joe is the go to guy, he will get a better offer than the one on the table from some NBA team.

In Jordan’s highest scoring season, the Bulls went out in the 1st round of the playoffs. It’s all about the wins. Joe will share the load initially. I think he has some Woody traits. Let the losses pop up and he’ll lobby for ISO Joe as the way to win…and so will Woody as both are at the end of their contracts.

The good news is that there are enough players on the roster to allow Joe to give us a more intensity in less minutes…Mircowave JJ–all the impact in less time. Remember Crawford kind of has something to prove as well. If Woody manages the game correctly, we should be able to shift into a matchup problem for most teams every game. The blueprint has been and still is Chuck Daly’s Pistons. The question for me is WWWD?

What Will Woody Do?

MannyT

October 12th, 2009
5:28 pm