Past promises must become future deliveries

Remember, Woody always sounds good this time of year,” longtime Hawks fan MannyT remarked to me once, in a response to an admittedly overly exuberant blog post by yours truly. 

All too true. I’d been a bit too excited over some of the things Hawks head coach Mike Woodson had been saying (hey, in my weak defense, they were things we hadn’t heard from him the whole time he’s been here), when my fellow Hawkster brought me back to earth. Was I guilty of being overly bouyant? Probably.

Let’s review a bit. We’ve heard that we’re going to run more. Put simply, it didn’t happen. Oh sure, we tried it for a couple of games. Then things got a bit shaky, and right back to walk-it-up offense we went. Again, it’s a debate. Were the Hawks not running because they simply weren’t ready, or were they not ready because they didn’t push through the inevitable misfires that come when a team begins to consistently run a fast break for the first time?

How about the edict that we must find ways to get Joe open? Uh, I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t seen that one. You’d think somebody besides Mike Bibby and Al Horford knew how to set actual solid screens. And I’m not picking on the rest of the team, either. It’s design. The Hawks just don’t effectively use something so fundamental as a screen nearly as often as they should.  We ran the pick and roll alright, but I swear that half the time, there wasn’t much of a “pick.” Besides, the pick and roll is not the only time you should set a screen.

Case in point: Why should Joe Johnson be seeing so many double teams? Set a screen on one of those guys, and suddenly he’s one-on-one. Now “Iso Joe” makes sense, no? Seriously, how many guys do you know that can hang with Joe one-on-one all game? Not many, and those that can do it for a time are probably only doing so in confidence because they know that help defender is coming, regardless of whether or not they’re already in trouble. Some people swear it’s the Hawks players that are at fault. Even if that were true, if I were Mike Woodson, I’d be running screen drills all day in practice until it became second nature for the players.

So what’s the latest from Woodson? He wants to get more scoring out of Horford, Williams, and Pachulia. Huh….

Seems to me that Marvin was already set for that early last season. The injury he suffered came late in the season, so in my opinion, that’s not a good alibi. Why wasn’t he featured more, earlier? Two games of the season, he went ballistic on offense only because a key starter was missing. Let me rephrase that. He went ballistic as a featured option on offense…only because a key starter was missing. The debate on Marvin overall still rages, but how much is there to the chick-vs-egg argument? Some contend that Marvin doesn’t get the ball because he’s not aggressive enough. Others say that he doesn’t produce more because he doesn’t get the ball. Yet here we have not just Woodson, but team leader Joe Johnson insisting that not only can Marvin score more, but that they need him to be featured more. If this Detroit model is going to work, Marvin’s game has to come up a notch or two. Whether that depends more on Marvin to get it done, or Woodson to get him involved still remains to be seen.

Then there is center Al Horford, who has been about as close to a double double as you can get without rounding the numbers up. The knock on Horford usually starts with his size. Getting past that, there are many who are quick to say that he doesn’t have much of a solid offensive game. And just like Marvin, Al has shown last season that he can produce when featured. How often was that? To put it into perspective, Horford took an average of 8.8 shots per game, good for 6th most on the team. The good news for Woodson is that his apparent stated goal is hardly a challenge. He wants 12 or 13 points per game from Al, according to this article http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Aj_Kj71pP3XtC3L6u3lENq5FT74F?slug=teamreports-2009-nba-atl&prov=sportsxchange&type=team_report.

Considering that Horford averaged 11.5 points last year, I’m not overly impressed with the set goal. I think 14 or 15 per game is more to the tune of what we need. Either way, adding in Zaza for 8-10 ppg is going to be interesting. Do you up his minutes, draw up more plays for him, or what?

Truthfully, such goals require a totally different concept of offense, one that Hawks fans certainly haven’t seen yet. Is this the year that what comes out of Woodson’s mouth in the summer/training camp/preseason actually comes to fruition on the court? In the past, there was room for excuses. Guys weren’t ready. Injuries occurred. Last season especially, Woodson was able to fall back on the fact that despite not following through on what he initially said would be done, the Hawks were still more successful than many expected. He maintained that though people may not like how it was done, the got the job done. This season, the Hawks may not meet with achievable success without following through with what Woodson says they must do.

The way I see it, Marvin and Al are two guys who have and always will do what is asked of them. Pachulia has warmed quite well to his role, as was evidenced last season.

It’s always on the players to produce and execute. But Woodson has to make sure the delivery is made. So what do you think? Will the offensive design change and evolve as it needs to? Will Woodson fade back to his old habits the first time the Hawks encounter a losing streak, or ride the tough times out? What has to be done to involve the frontcourt more, and will that come to pass finally?

68 comments Add your comment

niremetal

October 18th, 2009
9:58 pm

Great post. On the subject of Woody and the lack of motion and variety on offense, there was an ESPN preview chat that Ariose posted on the last blog, and I pulled one of the quotes from it:

1:17
[Comment From Kyle]
It seems as though our offense did a lot of standing around last year. Do you think we will run more designed plays this year?
1:17
Bret LaGree, Hoopinion: Those are the designed plays.

niremetal

October 18th, 2009
10:04 pm

As to what has to be done…I honestly have no workable ideas besides bringing in someone to redesign… no, check that – design an offense. One that gives more touches to big men on the high post and earlier in the shot clock, and with LOTS more off-ball motions and screens. It would have to be run during the pre-season and ingrained instead of learned on the fly.

I don’t know for sure because the pre-season games aren’t televised, but something tells me that’s not happening right now. Has anyone been to a pre-season game to speak on that??

doc

October 18th, 2009
10:33 pm

me thinks, i dont know if woody can do it. me also thinks his future depends on it if he is to remain the coach of the hawks. if he features jj a potential free agent, and doesnt develop more of the younger players around him just in case jj goes … my guess is woody goes with him.

it will be hard to justify a singular offense with as many players that are growing into roles that are similar to where jj was when he came here. me also thinks that one of three young studs of our young baseline guys are ready to bust out and we dont know which one it will be. folks that doesnt even include “flip on roids” crawford who will need and i want to have some touches. i want to see jj’s efficiency rating go up and his impact in the fourth quarter felt not before half time. i also dont want jj to get quiet points which means they werent at critical times.

nire do you think it is too much to ask of that for a role for jj and it be good for the team? uh did i even need to ask nire to respond?

nice job big ray.

KevinA

October 18th, 2009
11:00 pm

Maybe I’m pumped because the Hawks just defended a goal line stand ending up with a fumble recovery on Chicago’s last try. Ray that was the most endepth and accurate prose explaining the questions and accountability I have read in two years. Awesome job. I think I will reread your post a couple times and let other weigh in before I respond further. To much meat on the bone to ponder during a football game. Did I mention nice post?

niremetal

October 18th, 2009
11:16 pm

Doc,

I’ve been saying for years that JJ should be scoring the same number of points but doing it on 47% shooting instead of 41%. I don’t feel any differently now.

doc

October 19th, 2009
12:57 am

cool nire. glad to see that.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
1:01 am

KevinA, Nire, Doc ,

Thanks for the props, I’m blown away by your compliments. Thing is, I felt like the post didn’t get all of my attention, since I was practically glued to that Falcons game.

Speaking of which, if you want to talk Falcon football with real Falcon fans, give this spot a try The Bird Cage, hosted by D3) a shot: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2009/10/15/sunday-night-football-%e2%80%93-falcons-vs-bears-preview/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_falcons_fans

Ed

October 19th, 2009
4:48 am

I’m with you Ray on Woody’s projected goal for Horford. Almost seems as if he’s letting him know in a nice way don’t expect more this year. Al should be projecting as a 17-18 pt player and not a 12 point one. Guess Woody’s going to ride JJ into the ground and into the sunset.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
5:19 am

Ed ,

If that’s the case, he can ride on out of town already. Joe doesn’t need that. The Hawks don’t need that. And Woody’s crazy if he thinks that he needs that. If you have a stable full of good horses, riding your best all the time until he drops makes no sense. Yet there’s the rub….

vava74

October 19th, 2009
6:15 am

Nice post Ray, however, I think we all need a small reality check:

People,

I think you should realise that we cannot and will not average 120ppg!!!

If the guys that you all want to step up their games (Marvin, Smoove and Horford), stepped up at the rate you wanted, either Bibby would have to drop his average to about 5ppg and JJ to 15ppg or we would have to be playing ball like Nuggets in the 80’s.

If Horford raises his average by 2ppg, Zaza by 1ppg, Marvin by 2ppg, Smoove by 2ppg this will be already 7ppg more, this all seems to be feasible even if JJ maintains his average (highly likely), Bibby just dips a bit to around 13/14ppg.

We also want to believe that JT0 will bring in 8/10ppg and Crawford will keep Flip’s average and Mo will have a very similar year (losing about 1ppg) and that Joe Smith will contribute with around 5ppg.

All the above seems reasonable, doesn’t it???

However, now add all this:

JJ: 21.5 ppg
JS:17.5
MW: 16
AH: 13.5
MB: 13
JC: 12.5
JT: 8.5
ZP: 7.5
ME: 6.0
JS: 5.0
_____________
Total 121,0 ppg

Impossible isn’t it?

The funny conclusion is that we all want contradictory things:

First, we all want (not all, but for the sake of argument, I will generalise) that “JJ-shows-that-he-is-a-true-super-star-and-takes-over-games- elevating-his-production-to-Lebron-level-because-only-teams-with-superstars-win-titles”

Then, we all want that J-Smoove raises his game to star level, taking over games because he is the guy with all star characteristics, la-di-da…

Then, we all want that Marvin displays a production suitable to his #2 draft position and becomes more assertive…

Then, we all want that Horford becomes a force down low and raises his production…

Then, we all want that Teague gets a lot of burn and puts us ROY numbers…

Then, we all want that Crawford – to the minimum – replicates Flip’s numbers…

Then, we all want that Zaza also puts us good numbers down low and becomes more effective…

It simply does not add up!!!!!

My view on what should happen and actually might happen (being extremely optimistic anyhow):

JJ should keep his average (or eventually drop 1,5ppg to around 20ppg). We need a go-to-guy and he is the one since he is by far the best player in the squad. His drop should come out of significantly less minutes, but with better percentages.

Bibby should lower his offensive contribution significantly, with us involving the front court more. However, I don’t see Bibby accepting to go under the psychological barrier of the 10ppg this year.

Al should raise his offensive numbers slightly as mentioned above or keep them as they are BUT improve his rebounding and continue to develop his defence.

J-Smoove should accept what he is: a superstar role player, embracing rebounding (11/12,5 rpg) and defence. His offensive numbers should remain the same but with a 55/57% FG%.

If Marvin keeps his numbers, improves his man-to-man defence and does not go down with an injury, I will be more than pleased.

Crawford should not be called to replicate Flip’s numbers (anything around 9 to 10 ppg with 45% FG% will take us where we need to be).

JT0 should get enough burn to reach the above projection of 8/9ppg with 3,5 to 5 apg.

Zaza should achieve roughly the same numbers with Joe Smith putting up just a marginal contribution (4ppg) and Mo will probably drop his numbers to around 5ppg.

Overall I believe that we can raise our PPG average by 9 to 10 points, which is feasible with an offence featuring less ISO situations and more ball movement.

I strongly believe that there are very few teams with an homogeneous level of talent as we have and with the ability to showcase with any line up, good offensive options.

doc

October 19th, 2009
7:04 am

vava what i dont want to see is more nights where jj gets 26 points on 25 shots. that is not ball movement. that is when i suggest there is coaching problems, if it happens too many times.

vava74

October 19th, 2009
7:11 am

doc,

I am the first to agree to that.

JJ’s numbers should come with less shots and when it counts (at the end of the game).

However, the expectations that everyone is placing over each player individually does not add up.

Hence, Woody’s analysis on how much more PPG he wants from Al and Zaza is realistic and should not be considered disappointing.

Daniel

October 19th, 2009
9:02 am

Guys, I have to tell you that I am excited. I can win season tickets to the Hawks. I am having to suit up for the Hawks with 790theZone. I have to wear a Hawks uniform all week. Go to their website and click the promotions page, so you can vote for your boy. Obviously, I am Daniel.

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
10:22 am

Great post by Vava – we’re definitely not going to be able to see ALL the things Woody talks about happening happen, unless we suddenly reinvent ourselves as the D’Antoni-era Suns offensively. That being said, the numbers that add up to 121 could be brought down to a realistic 100-101 by recognizing a couple things:

1) The sum of scoring averages will not equal the team’s PPG because most players will not play in all 82 games. To take an extreme example, if Kobe only played in 1 game this year and scored 40 points, and then missed the rest of the season, the Lakers scoring average would be wildly inflated if you just added up PPG. For a concrete example, if you sum up the Hawks’ individual players’ PPG last year, the sum was 115.8. The team’s actual PPG was 98.1.

2) I’d be perfectly content to JJ, Josh, Bibby, Teague, and Zaza shave 1-1.5 ppg from their listed scoring average. The only people who I think we NEED to see increased offensive production from if we want to move up in the wins column are Marvin and Horford. I could even live with Marvin repeating his offensive numbers from last year if Crawford steps up and scores more. Anyway, I think if those numbers add up to 117-118, we will be where we need to be assuming the injury level is about the same as last year’s.

doc

October 19th, 2009
11:04 am

great points nire, simple math we overlook sometimes.

vava74

October 19th, 2009
11:39 am

Nire,

There are obviously good points, however, my analysis took for granted that none of the 10 rotation players would lose more than 2/3 games on average due to injury (which would be really something – fingers crossed!!).

I know that we cannot simply add up players’ PPG averages since this was the reason why I did not include in the calculation the players which will feature more DNPs than actual presences.

Also, I really believe that our PPG average could sky rocket this year to the 108/110 mark since we have so many tools this year.

We have one more body in the front court which can chip in with a few points (Joe), we kept the offensive power Flip brought with Crawford (we hope) and we now have a quick, dynamic and fearless backup PG which will speed things up when he is on court (which we hope will be around 20mpg by the end of the season).

vava74

October 19th, 2009
11:40 am

chuckw/deadjournalist

October 19th, 2009
12:38 pm

i’m with you on the bulk of the post big ray; we’ve all heard the talk in years past. but let’s give woody credit for this – the man knows his job depends on this team improving on last year’s success. he may be hard-headed, but he isn’t dumb. for the hawks to improve and advance deep in the playoffs, he’s got to use all of his assets.

take the ppg out of it a minute – i think it is safe to say that what everyone wants to see more of from the hawks this season is movement – both ball and player movement. when the hawks did do a good job of moving the ball around and having the guys off the ball in constant motion last year, the team was able to take advantage of it’s size and speed effectively.

everyone tends to overlook that the hawks run four guys on the court at any time who are all 6′ 8″ plus. the focus tends to be on horford’s lack of size, but other than orlando (and maybe cleveland) there isn’t a team for which that matters a whole helluva lot.

my final thought, before i get back to work, is that for the first time in a decade the hawks have multiple guys who can split the defense getting to the hole. that means easy fouls and easy dump-offs to bigs down low or a kick out to the wings in transition. it should give the hawks much better spacing on offense.

and as we all know, proper spacing + consistent motion = open looks on offense.

Gilley

October 19th, 2009
12:40 pm

Great blog once again ray ray. Even though I have to take reading breaks, these have been great blogs. keep it up.

Great point VA Va on the numbers argument but my desire is for each player to just be consistent and be able to step it up when need be. If Joe Johnson is having a bad game or i in foul trouble, I want to see Marvin take up the slack and not Joe Johnson keep shooting and shooting and putting us in bad situations when he is obviously having a bad night. If we want to follow the Detroit model which is very rare, we must defend how we did when we started off 6-0 last season and emphasize defense in every way possible until we are known for our defense. Then, utilize your weapons and come with a balanced attack. Perimeter, transition, post, one on one and half court scoring. Also, what people are forgetting is our team on the road. How will we be respected if we dont win on the road on a more consistent basis? Orlando was always a good road team even before their run to the NBA Finals….I think we should improve on the road and COMPETE and not get embarrassed when we play the top tier teams, then we will get more respect. But I am looking forward to the season and hope Woodson does maximize his roster and trust players and not burn out his starters

Gilley

October 19th, 2009
12:46 pm

Until we win consistently on the road, we won’t be considered a top tier or elite team!

Sope Creek

October 19th, 2009
12:52 pm

Big Ray – The scoring output from Horford all depends on 2 things (1) minutes and (2) touches. Woody has more options on the front line this year that can help reduce the minutes that Horford has to play, and Woody also has far more scoring options with the addition of Crawford, Teague and even Joe Smith. So if Horford gets 12-13 in reduced minutes and touches, that means he’s being utilized far more efficiently – which means that the rest of the offense also would be more balanced and efficient to support Horford. That’s not a bad scenario.

MannyT

October 19th, 2009
12:54 pm

Ray, thanks for the lead line.

Here is the one thing I KNOW I can count on from Woody.

The early season, (old) Al Davis recalibration…just win, baby.

About 2 weeks in, he will make an assessment. What does he have to do to win? He will make adjustments based on that assessment. The good news is that he is usually accurate in that thought process. The bad news is that the reassessment tosses out whatever he said before the regular season. If it means JJ plays 47 minutes and 55 sec, so be it.

Keep a guy on short contracts and he has no incentive to look at the long term.

All that said, he has more experienced players than ever before. Woody, like most coaches likes more experienced players. Thus he should be more comfortable looking at his mid November options.

If he could only make those adjustments during a game, he might be a great coach instead of the guy that is always on the edge of losing his job.

I don’t care about the scoring distribution. I want more flexibility. Said it before and I’ll say it again. His coaching model should follow Chuck Daly and the 1980s Pistons. Offense was perimeter focused, but it always shifted with the hot hand during that game. Defense was about not letting the best guy on the other team beat you. That’s where the Jordan rules originated. That’s why the Bulls did not beat the Pistons when it mattered until some guys other than Jordan stepped up their games.

BWAF

Sautee

October 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

Another gem Ray.

PPG doesn’t interest me as much as having the ball go through Horford earlier in the clock and a lot more often. He’s a GREAT decision maker (as his assist avg. shows). I’d also LOVE to see some high-low sets with Al at the free throw line and Josh on the baseline. I remember MANY lobs that Al gave to Noah at Fla. This is a wasted asset in our present offense.

kirkinga

October 19th, 2009
2:40 pm

Nice blog Ray.

Seems to me what you are really getting at is expectation. As vava74 pointed out, we all have our individual expectations as in what we expect to see from individual players. We want to see growth, we want to the “superstar or not” questioned answered, we want to see a strong push for ROY. We all want, as you said , to see “production and execution”.

These individual player expectations are all tied into the expectation that the coach will maximize the talent he has been given to work with.

(We can leave aside for the moment the completely contradictory idea that Coach Woodson will at least do some of these things, yet we expect that he will not do enough and therefore will not be the coach very much longer…maybe)

My question is why are the expectations all offensive? Have we no defensive expectation? How about rebounding? We will not be a running team if we don’t play good defense and rebound, it just will not happen.

How about an expectation that the Hawks must take the next step and become a winning road team?

Does it matter so much who scores what in any particular game so long as we win? The other teams will force Woodson to make adjustments(work with me here, stop laughing) so the distribution of points in the “Detroit Model” is not going to be as fixed as say the 1-3 Superstar Model”?

But really, if we are going to talk expectations, then doesn’t it all come back to winning? I mean will it really matter if Al averages 12ppg or 15 if we win 52-55 games?

I of course presume that the reason why we have these expectations is so the team will increase it’s win total.

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
2:46 pm

Honestly, the one statistical leap that I really want to happen and that is definitely in reach is for Josh to average 11-12rpg. Given his strength and unreal leaping ability, that is easily within the realm of possibility. If he stays closer to the basket on offense and just sets his mind to crashing the boards more on both ends with a vengeance, we’ll kill two birds with one stone by greatly reducing our rebounding deficiency and creating more fast break opportunities…

MannyT

October 19th, 2009
6:13 pm

kirknga, you are right…it’s about winning.

That’s why I have come around from disliking Woody’s ways to accepting them with a minor :roll:
I agree that he makes his “system” work even though I would like to see it work in a different way.

I am more curious than anxious about HOW Woody will save his job this year. I think he will…just not sure what methods he uses with the current roster. I think he at least holds the 4th seed. If he figures out how to get some synergy from the roster, he might get a higher seed with a break or two.

BWAF

O'Brien

October 19th, 2009
6:23 pm

Great blog Ray,

Some more undelivered promises from Woody. “I have to find more PT for our bench guys” and “I have to get Acie more playing time”. Both of which never happened. But…this is a new season, and a new team, so Woody will have a clean slate.

Another thing to keep in mind with the scoring, is that with the players on the roster, we should be able to run more. And that should lead to extra possessions. And extra possessions should lead to more points.

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
7:24 pm

Horford gets 3 assists in the first 7 minutes, Hawks lead 18-10 and are shooting .583 from the field. Hopefully we’ll continue to see these high post touches during the regular season.

And for the first time, we see this line:
J. Smith enters game for J. Smith

:)

junebaby

October 19th, 2009
7:27 pm

VaVa…, good post! i agree. unless the hawks play like the Denver Nuggets of the 80’s, where will all these extra shots come from? it seems like the hawks would have to shoot 80% fgp for all these guys to aver this many pts, and i don’t think the hawks rebound well enough. it would be nice to see fewer jumpers, and more scoring in the paint, but that doesn’t seem to be their style. i do hope that marvin posts-up a lot more this year, that would help him, but 120 pts pg aver., i don’t know!

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:09 pm

Great responses, guys.

To address some points:

Vava74 ,

I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s a little more accurate to say that “we all want” different things that just don’t add up to a realistic picture. Not everybody wants to see the same thing. Some want Josh to be that “other all-star”. Others swear it will be Marvin. Some pick Horford for the job. And that’s just the all-star argument.

Kirk ,

I wanted to touch on the defensive side of things really badly. However, when I got past the stuff I already posted, I was easily over 1,000 words. Figured it was time to stop and let the inevitable happen: somebody else would mention it. Thanks for hitting the mark, as it is a very good point, and really where our team strength begins. And this is a fan blog, which means that all I’m really doing is starting the conversation. We don’t necessarily have to stay on the stated topic, per se… :)

MannyT ,

Excellent point on Woody’s assessment habits. “Just win, baby” is a two-edged sword, as we know. It’s a great mantra, but you have to keep following through. I realize that any coach will rest and work easier with a guaranteed contract. However, that is not the nature of this job, and right now what has he proven in relation to the bigger picture? I understand his viewpoint, but I also understand management’s viewpoint, if it’s what I think it is.

Sautee ,

Thanks. PPG actually doesn’t interest me nearly as much as the blog post might lead you to think. Efficiency is definitely better. The key here is talking in a vaccum. Woody does that a lot. He mentions getting more points out of Horford and Zaza, but does he understand how that relates to all those game where Horford goes 4-5 from the floor in the first quarter, then doesn’t get the ball for the rest of the game, while Bibby goes 3-13, and Joe goes 6-18? That’s my concern, as I know it is yours.

doc

October 19th, 2009
9:13 pm

tonight’s box score is what i want to see more than flashy numbers by one or two individuals, balanced scoring and good defense. hate to point out the obvious but it is overlooked in the fantasy land fans. defense ultimately wins the big games. you cant have both but i dont want defense to be hold the ball for 24 seconds to keep the score down either. this team is capable of playing at both ends of the floor but they won more by defense last year and hope they can do the same this year. i expect they will have many games where there is a 20 point gap towards the end of games if teams dont show up to play.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:14 pm

Sope Creek ,

Agreed completely. See my answer in the post above to Sautee in regard to Horford.

Gilley ,

Absolutely. Improving our road winning percentage is a MUST. Not just for pundit notoriety or national acclaim. But to be a better team. More on that particular subject in a later post. I’d love to address all these things at once, but y’all would have to take a two week vacation just to rest from all the reading, :lol: .

Trust me, it would look like a discertation on steriods.

ChuckW ,

Great point on the “size issue”, as well as the spacing on offense. You and Niremetal have been preaching a sermon on the latter for as long as I can remember. At some point, “just win, baby” means you have to go that route. We cannot, I repeat CANNOT get better without those concepts coming into play.

doc

October 19th, 2009
9:16 pm

well i just read ray’s comments. hmmm like minds? heh heh

doc

October 19th, 2009
9:18 pm

meant you CAN have both d and o.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:20 pm

Daniel ,

You got MY VOTE! Looks like you’re leading by a wide margin ! You go boyyyyyy!

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:35 pm

A couple more points on Woody.

First, I agree with MannyT’s assertion that Woody needs to follow the model that Chuck Daly’s Pistons had. He also needs to follow Chuck Daly in other avenues. One of my favorite quotes from Daly:

“This is a player’s league. If the players don’t respect you, you won’t go very far.” Or something to that effect….

Woody seems to have a good grasp on that for the most part . Say what you want about his dust-ups with Josh Smith, but finding the balance between what may seem like needless long-suffering patience and a firm hand is crucial. And while people may not see all of it, there ARE other players involved in similar situations. Josh is just the most often targeted, and the most vocal…that we know of.

Second, the whole contract situation with Woody doesn’t seem as harsh as some people make it out to be. I’ve heard how much the organization has wronged him. How he’s had to jump through so many hoops. How this, how that. How he should be extended already.

Really?

Through all of this, Woody has had one constant: a job. He says “most guys” would have been extended already. Really? I think “most guys” would have been fired the first time their GM tried to get rid of them. “Most guys” wouldn’t have survived the GM trying to fire them ONCE, much less multiple times. “Most guys” wouldn’t survive a completely new/different GM coming in. Many GMs want their own guy in there, not the guy who is there (particularly if that guy doesn’t have a winning record).

Woody is on the second year of a two year contract that HE SIGNED. Did he sign that contract with the expectation that he would only have to serve one year, then automatically be handed a nice extension? Again, this is a new GM, and we assume he has been tasked with developing and maintaining a winner. Notice I didn’t just say “developing” a winner. I also said “maintaining.” In other words, you can’t just win one year and you’re part of the winner’s circle. You have to win consistently. Year after year.

Sund, in my opinion, is completely justified in waiting on that contract extension until he is more certain that Woody can help develop a winner…and maintain that winning edge.

For the sake of analogy and argument, let’s take the roster itself. These guys won 47 games last year, and achieved a first round playoff series win. Sounds great, yes?

Now, would you take that whole year and that series, how those guys played, injuries, etc, and automatically assume that this is the roster you want to roll with for the next 4+ years? Do you think that same team, built that same way, can maintain a 4th seed for the next 4+ years, and actually improve significantly?

Then WHY would you assume the same with the coach….?

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:36 pm

Geez. I think I just posted my next blog post….oops… ;)

doc

October 19th, 2009
9:42 pm

ray give us the link for daniel.

imagine that ray getting carried away with words.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
9:57 pm

Good grief. Now they’re talking about some cancer scare Lebron had LAST SEASON . Cancer is no joke…but last season? Last season LAST SEASON ??!! What, do we have a Lebron quota we must fill on NBA.com? Geez!

Big Ray

October 19th, 2009
10:00 pm

[...] Hawks Fan Nest on Future for Hawks [...]

Melvin

October 19th, 2009
11:11 pm

Big Ray,

Here come your JT0 (Jeff Teague) highlight package from tonite game. Between him, Josh and Crawford it should be plenty of highlights in the highlight factory this season…

http://www.nba.com/video/games/hawks/2009/10/19/0010900085_was_atl_recap.nba/

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
11:15 pm

Actually, this sounds like it might have been a joke. LeBron probably was nervous that he wasn’t getting talked about enough, so he decided to take a biopsy of a mole and call it a “cancer scare.”

Ok, I admit it, that was mean. No one likes to hear the word “growth” mentioned in conjunction with something in their jaw after their wisdom teeth come in. But yeah…9 months after the fact? I just hope LeBron and Nike don’t insult actual cancer patients by spinning this into more than it was…

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
11:28 pm

Melvin,

The sickest thing in that reel was Bibby’s pass. My goodness, throwing up a dead-on pass from that position on the floor while being defended that closely and not moving towards the basket…

niremetal

October 19th, 2009
11:30 pm

PS – Did anyone else notice the really nice strip by RandMo to start that sick fast break. Seriously, RandMo looked like a man who knew what he was doing in that sequence.

Melvin

October 19th, 2009
11:32 pm

Nire,

That was a great find by Bibby. Especially since it didnt seem like it was a designed play.

Big Ray

October 20th, 2009
5:22 am

Melvin ,

Thanks for the link! You’re right, I think we will get to see our second unit do so nasty stuff to the opposition.

Nire ,

Good call on the plays by Bibby and RandMo.

Big Ray

October 20th, 2009
5:33 am

Two of my faves from that clip- Teague to Horford and JJ drawing the foul on a drive.

G-Money

October 20th, 2009
11:49 am

All of this blame Woody nonsense is just that- nonsense. First and foremost he took over a dysfunctional franchise.He has done a remarkable job with the talent and experience that was given to him. Joe Johnson has had to play significant minutes because of a lack of talent.Al Horford is a reminder of Otis Thorpe formally of the Houston Rockets, strong, big body, relentless rebounder. One small difference, Thorpe played along with some guy named Olajuwon. So if you are looking for his limited offensive repertoire to expand, I would strongly recommend that you bring in an emerging hall of fame to be center. The bottom line is Marvin Williams has not yet improved his game on a consistent basis to merit more offensive touches. Teams have been able to aggressively double team Joe because of the fact that other players have not been willing, and/ or able to put the ball in the basket. This year will be interesting because it appears as though the Hawks have garnered significant scoring to change the way this team approaches games.

Boneyard Randy

October 20th, 2009
2:32 pm

All I gotta say is I’m fired up about this season. 8 days. Let’s all get out to the highlight factory and get this Hawks train off to a fast start! Let’s all take it upon ourselves to get other fans out there and to get the fans that are in the stands fired up and make some noise. I’m tired of seein’ people in the stands hackin’ away on their iphone and not even paying attention to the game. Stand up for your team and don’t be too cool to clap.