These guys again?!

What is it about the Charlotte Bobcats that gives us so much trouble? It’s not a divisional rivalry thing. Georgia and North Carolina are not neighboring states, so it’s not that either. So what is it?

Maybe it’s Larry Brown. No, it can’t be that, because we’ve ALWAYS had trouble with these guys. Then again, maybe it is, as we have one of his pupils (though I’m not sure which trait or skill  his pupil latched onto exactly) coaching the Hawks.

Or how about Gerald Wallace? Yeah, that’s got to be it. That guy gives us trouble every single time we see him. Yet Wallace is not exactly a one-man wrecking crew,  so that’s not a good explanation either. Is it how the Hawks match up with the ‘Cats? Well, whatever the deal is, the trend is continuing as we see the Hawks down by double figures to the Bobcats at halftime.

The easiest alibi would be to say that the team is tired after a 3 game west coast trip. The only problem is, every team has to deal with things like that, several times during the season, at that. And the Bobcats are not really a very good team. So what gives?

Well, judging by the boxscore alone,  the good news is we only have 3 turnovers, so at least it’s not bad passing or ball-handling, for the most part. And, we’re shooting roughly 48% from the field, so it’s not a whole slew  of chucked up shots that just aren’t falling. The bad news is, and I’m just guessing here….there isn’t very much ball or personnel movement.  We have a total of 6 assists, 3 of which came from Mike Bibby, 2 from Jeff Teague, and 1 from Mo Evans.  Sounds to me like the usual has happened, which means there are guys standing around. Feel free to correct me, as I’m not currently watching the game, and could have it all wrong.

Here’s the bothersome part, and so far it has become a theme for the Hawks this season: the defense hasn’t kicked in. The ‘Cats are shooting over 54% from the field and Raja Bell (Raja Bell?!) is looking unstoppable. Gee, could it be that we’re not closing out on a known perimeter shooter? Say it ain’t so? I’d take a gander at who isn’t getting the job done, but there is an all-too-convenient alibi already in place. You guessed it, Woodson’s switching defense. May wonders never cease…or in this case, they can’t cease quickly enough.

If I’m Mike Woodson, I put Jeff Teague in the game for more than the five minutes he has given him. The kid apparently is trying and succeeding at getting his teammates involved, and you know he’s generally not shy about trying to get a shot. Plug him in and watch him inject some obviously needed energy. It might be just the ticket to get the Hawks going.

In the meantime, there’s the small issue of defense. The Hawks have been known so far this season to slack off on the defensive end, then tighten it up in spurts for a quarter or so. Will they get it done in time, or have they fallen too far behind, too quickly? The assumption is that Bell won’t likely shoot like this all night, but if he gets enough open looks, he just might, you never know (didn’t that guy get 50 points some time last season?). Then there is the talented DJ Augustin (when is he going to take Raymond Felton’s job for good?), who seems to be able to get where he wants to on the floor. Then there’s the usual Hawk-killer, otherwise known as Gerald Wallace. He’s killing us on the glass, but isn’t shooting well…..yet.

If we’re going to clamp down and win this one, there’s no time like the present.

29 comments Add your comment

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
8:31 pm

If I’m Mike Woodson, I put Jeff Teague in the game for more than the five minutes he has given him. The kid apparently is trying and succeeding at getting his teammates involved, and you know he’s generally not shy about trying to get a shot. Plug him in and watch him inject some obviously needed energy. It might be just the ticket to get the Hawks going.

I’d be with you if it weren’t for what you talk about in your next paragraph – it’s our defense that’s awful tonight. And Teague was getting absolutely shredded by Augustin.

Wabe

November 6th, 2009
8:35 pm

Timely new blog post Big Ray.

Very timely.

Wabe

November 6th, 2009
8:40 pm

Man, we’re doubling Boris Diaw in the lane and leave the guy that’s been killing us all nite wide open outside?

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
8:46 pm

Josh is picking it up on D, but he is not making good decisions with the ball on offense. Why the hell did he try to run the break himself instead of giving the ball up to Teague or Crawford? I get it if they’re covered, but they weren’t. And he ended up throwing off a pass that got deflected off the break after nearly being stripped. Result: A wasted possession.

Not that Crawford is doing a hell of a lot better. It’s basically JJ-lite – dribble, dribble, drive, off-balance shot…except he doesn’t have JJ’s touch on the fadeaway.

And now it’s the reverse – Josh sticks with the offensive rebound and gets the tip, then goes back to the other end and waves off Mo so that he could guard Flip??

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
8:53 pm

Wabe ,

Thanks. It was a last minute thing….

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
8:54 pm

Nire ,

So I heard. Was there somebody on the court that WAS stopping Augustin?

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
8:58 pm

Ray,

3 of Augustin’s 4 field goals were with Teague on him (ie he hadn’t switched off), It wasn’t pretty. Teague hasn’t figured out that he can’t let guys beat him and then try to block them from behind in the NBA…

Wabe

November 6th, 2009
8:59 pm

Man, this one just baffles my mind. We can talk about the switching defense and this and that, but truthfully, we just didn’t show up for this one tonite. And when you don’t show up, apparently you’ll get beaten up. Maybe it was the long roadtrip from Sacramento out to Charlotte, but for whatever reason, we were just plain off tonite.

Hopefully we’ll get a better effort tomorrow nite against Denver.

Man, this one was frustrating.

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
9:00 pm

Sixth game into his first NBA season, he has room to learn and grow.

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
9:00 pm

Woody’s Hail Mary lineup: Teague-Crawford-Mo-JJ-Horford.

?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
9:00 pm

I wanna know who let Raja Bell get his groove on. Oh wait, I forgot, alibi already in place…

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
9:01 pm

If that’s a “hail Mary” we dang sure know Woody isn’t Catholic…he’ll be looking for absolution later in the season…heh…

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
9:02 pm

Ray,

No disagreement. But believe it or not, he’s actually more of a defensive liability right now than anyone else in our backcourt – including Bibby and Crawford. He has to get minutes to learn, but we’ll have to accept that he has a long way to go on that end. Fortunately, he has some help – I saw Zaza take him aside to talk to him after Augustin took him for an and-one.

The problem, of course, is that Woody might not give him the minutes he needs to learn the lessons.

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
9:05 pm

Woody resting Joe the rest of the way. Good.

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
9:09 pm

Marvin’s been smothering on defense, and actually been quite aggressive when he’s gotten the ball tonight – but that hasn’t been often. That makes sense, because the worst part about tonight has been ball movement – more than midway through the fourth and we only have 10 assists on the game. The 6 turnovers are less a sign that we’ve been careful with the ball than that we haven’t been moving the ball.

It’s been ISO-mode all night. For everyone. Not pretty.

Night all.

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
9:29 pm

Nire,

It’s always good to see veteran players helping youngsters along. I agree that Teague has to learn by getting his chops busted. Woody is Woody. There isn’t a lot changing so far.

Big Ray

November 6th, 2009
9:31 pm

I’m not even going to bother blaming anybody in particular for this loss. Getting blown out by the Bobcats is unacceptable, even if it was right on the heels of a flight back east after a western conference run. You have to compete night in and night out.

I’m glad I didn’t DVR this game.

vava74

November 6th, 2009
9:36 pm

Major Egg!

And nire, I’m not cheap. The issue is that the bradband service where I live is as cr*py as tonights performance by the hawks (whilst just 2 miles away is quite good) and should not even be called broadband. Hence I am afraid that I would not get any value for money with the league pass…

niremetal

November 6th, 2009
10:21 pm

Vava, I was just yanking your chain. I didn’t get League Pass until I got cable.

Mz. Hawkdafied

November 6th, 2009
10:53 pm

Not a good look for the ATL Hawks tonight. What a disappointment!

Ed

November 7th, 2009
1:30 am

Well we are getting what Woody wanted. Crawford comes in, wants to fit in, shows off tremendous passing skills and has a great attitude. Well Woodrow squashed that telling him he wants he to shoot / score the ball. He emphasizes this as it’s the only type offense Woody knows and that is to have good to excellent one on one players. As Nire called it JJ-Lite…we have another gunner who shoots 40% and fits into our ISO offense.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 7th, 2009
1:37 am

Actually North Carolina is a neighboring state. Its western tip is on the border with our northeastern tip. Sorry.

Brian

November 7th, 2009
1:46 am

This is a bad basketball team. It doesn’t matter if they win 50 or not because if trust what you see on the court with your eyes, you will see they play a really bad brand of basketball. No fundamentals and no mental toughness. A win against Denver does NOT cancel this out. The object isn’t to trade L’s against really bad teams for w’s against decent teams. The bottom line is that hte Hawks are a miserable mess and the rebuilding project that was started all those years ago has FAILED to produce a team that can win anything of importance. This team is DONE.

Big Ray

November 7th, 2009
2:49 am

Hawks Fan in New Orleans ,

I stand corrected. I think you understand where I was going, but wrong is wrong.

Brian ,

I have to say that I agree about the toughness and fundamentals, we have issues there. But winning 50 games makes this a bad team? This team is “done”? Dude, you certainly have some high standards. I’d hate to see what you’d think if we had a losing record.

niremetal

November 7th, 2009
9:41 am

Ed,

Exactly what I was thinking. Why Woody said “I want you to shoot all the time” is beyond me. We had a guy who came in WANTING to spark some ball movement (and did so during the preseason), and Woody quashed the idea. At what point are people going to stop blaming our guards for this stuff? We saw the same thing from Lue, then JJ, then Bibby (though to a lesser extent), and now Jamal – guys who had shown they could be unselfish in the past, but then became ball-stoppers in Woody’s offense.

It’s the system, or rather the lack thereof. Woody’s handling of Crawford and Crawford’s abandonment of the distributor attitude that he expressed and showed during training camp and the preseason should confirm that to anyone who doubted it before.

vava74

November 7th, 2009
10:38 am

I couldn’t catch the game, however, just by looking at the highlights on NBA.com, analysing the date (play by play, the shot chart, boxscore) and reading what the guys here said it is easy to conclude that the switching defense was killing us leaving Charlotte’s back court with favorable match ups and comfortably shooting from outside.

I think the switching defense has two main problems: it is not effective against all types of teams and the guys out there must be working at 100%.

Just out of my hat, I think we were out coached and out hustled in another showing of immaturity by both Woody and the team.

Not to despair, however, it is very disappointing since we could have been standing at the top of the NBA last night with the few others which have only 1 loss.

I am really concerned about tonight since our guys are tired and the nuggets are a very tough match up for us with Billups (who had a very bad day yesterday) and Lawson who seems to be very comfortable at the pro level already.

Melo has been on fire and we will need to step up defensively in order to pull this one through.

In general, in spite of our 4-1 record, in my view we have been living in borrowed time: the defense has been very lax, we only rebounded well against Portland and we benefited from the “good Crawford” for two games in a row to bail us out.

Also, we should be very aware of the fact that Sac, Ind and Was are inferior teams and these wins were achieved with too much “pain”.

Big Ray

November 7th, 2009
11:03 am

New blog up…..have at it…. :)

Greg Harlston

November 7th, 2009
3:18 pm

After last night’s disaster, Joe Johnson said, ”I don’t know when we all of a sudden just really became a selfish team. Now everybody wants to go one-on-one. It’s me, me, me. It’s crazy, man. Everybody who touches it wants to score. I really think guys on this team don’t know their roles, so it’s killing us. And it’s going to continue to kill us.” This comment was for Jamal Crawford’s benefit. Jamal is killing the Hawks with his me-first attitude. Jamal’s never been on a playoff team and is trying to make sure he continues that streak by causing the Hawks to implode. Jamal is a very talented player but he’s got to understand his role. I know it’s early but unless he changes his attitude the Hawks are in for a loooooong year.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 7th, 2009
9:37 pm

Big Ray,
Its a great article! Pardon me I’m just a geography buff.